RIGA - Lithuanian households spend more money on food than households in Latvia and Estonia, the Latvian national statistics office reported last week. Food costs made up 37 percent of all household consumption costs in Lithuania last year, while in Latvia this rate was 31 percent and in Estonia 27 percent.
In Latvia in 2005 food costs accounted for 29 percent of total consumption costs by households of paid employees, 22 percent in households of business people and self-employed persons, 42 percent in households of self-employed persons working in agriculture and 43 percent of total consumption costs in households of pensioners.
The percentage of food costs in the total consumption costs is one of the material wealth indicators that can be compared internationally.
The statistics office also reported that monthly household consumption costs in Latvia in 2005 amounted to 128 lats (182.1 euros) per household member on average, up 12 percent or 14 lats from 2004.
Consumption costs have increased most rapidly in rural households 's by 17 percent 's while the growth was 11 percent for urban households and 12 percent for households in Riga.
Urban households had the largest monthly consumption costs in 2005 at 142 lats per household member (170 lats for households in Riga). Costs of rural households were much lower at 99 lats per household member monthly.
The main consumption priority was food costs (31 percent). Housing and utilities costs also are quite high (12 percent) along with transportation costs (12 percent). On average, costs for food, housing maintenance and utilities, transport as well as clothing and footwear made up 62 percent of household consumption costs.