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RIGA/VILNIUS - The spending of Lithuanian households on essential goods remains the lowest in the Baltic states, however, is rapidly catching up with Latvia, shows an index of household spending published by the research company Baltic Market Insights (Baltmi). According to the survey, Lithuanians spend an average of nearly 2 euros more than Latvians during a single visit to the store, however, are still behind Estonia.
According to the Baltmi results, the average household spending on food, beverages, non-food products, tobacco, medical goods, entertainment and fuel stood at 420.14 euros in Lithuania in December (up by 15 pct from November), as compared to 422.79 euros in Latvia (up by 20 pct) and 535.44 euros in Estonia (up by 25.8 pct).
"We see that Lithuanians are starting to catch up with the Latvians. Earlier the difference between average spending used to be bigger. The reason I see is that our take-home wages is rapidly nearing the Latvian wages after taxes, and this is possibly reflected in the statistics. It seems that we will get ahead of Latvia in terms of take-home wages this year," Tadas Povilauskas, senior analyst at SEB bank, told BNS.
In his words, another important thing is that prices for essential commodities in Latvia remain higher than in Lithuania.
According to Baltmi, Lithuanian buyers spent an average of 13.04 euros during a single visit to the store last December, as compared to 11.19 euros in Latvia and 15.66 euros in Estonia. The sums grew by respective 10.8 percent, 9.5 percent and 14 percent from November.