I'd blogged in 2008
about how traditional migration patterns in central Europe from east to west were starting to reverse themselves with, among other nationalities, newly well-off Poles taking advantage of low real estate prices and good infrastructure in eastern Germany. With stories like this
, the imminence of some sort of limited convergence, at least, is impending (East Germany is much the poorest region in a Germany perhaps two-thirds richer
than Poland, even western Poland is poorer than East Germany, and the sheer number of Poles means that some number will be able to make foreign purchases of whatever).
Though Eurostat data indicates that Germany is a more expensive country than Poland, it still pays for Poles to go grocery shopping in eastern Germany. According to the Wrocław branch of the Central Statistical Office, shoppers in Wrocław pay 17 percent more for beer, 25 percent more for butter and 70 percent more for bottled water than they would in stores in Germany.
The list of products that are more expensive in the west of Poland than in eastern Germany also includes: cottage cheese, condensed milk, cream, juice, honey and soap, with the biggest price gaps on alcohol.
The price differences are attributed to a gamut of factors, some of them being: higher commissions on alcohol sales in Poland, higher VAT in Poland on products like bottled water, and a more concentrated German market with fewer intermediaries.