Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia has compiled results of the Household Budget Survey on consumption expenditure of private households1 (henceforth households) in 2011. After two previous years when downturn was recorded, in 2011 an increase of the household consumption expenditure can be observed, nevertheless level of the consumption expenditure still is lower than in 2009. Moreover, it should be noted that rise in the consumption expenditure, in compliance with the Household Budget Survey data, was recorded only starting from the 3rd quarter of 2011.
In 2011 household consumption expenditure on average per household member monthly comprised LVL 188 - an increase of LVL 9.50, if compared to 2010.
Changes of household consumption expenditure
(as % of previous year)
If compared to 2010, the rise of consumption expenditure in 2011 at current prices comprised 5.3%. Due to the fact that consumer prices grew by 4.4%, the consumption expenditure at constant prices grew by 0.8%. Generally growth of the consumption expenditure, if compared to the previous year, was observed in households living in both urban and rural areas, as well as in households of various demographic types and with different income levels.
Higher consumption expenditure was observed in urban households, in which it reached LVL 204 per household member monthly (in Riga - LVL 232).
Household consumption expenditure (total in cash and in kind) in 2009 - 2010
2011 over 2010, %
In comparison with the previous year, expenditure on food at current prices increased by 7%, on transport by 8.2%, and on housing and public utilities - by 7.5%, and that may be related with the CPI rise in the corresponding groups.
If compared to previous year, household expenditure on food has grown from LVL 50 to LVL 54 on average per household member monthly. Expenditure on food still is the main consumption priority in households comprising on average 28.8% of all consumption expenditure, and, in comparison with the previous year (28.3%), the share of this expenditure in total consumption expenditure of households has grown. Next largest expenditure items are public utility services and transport. Expenditure on health has increased by 9.9%. Moreover, in 2008 health was the ninth largest expenditure, whereas in 2011 it is the fifth one. For the first time households spent more on health than one clothing and footwear.
Generally on average in all households such main expenses as costs on food, housing, transport, purchase of clothing and footwear, and health constituted more two thirds (69%) of total consumption expenditure.
Composition and structure of consumption expenditure
(on average per household member monthly)
Food and non-alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco
Clothing and footwear
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels
Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house
Recreation and culture
Hotels, cafes and Restaurants
Miscellaneous goods and services
In comparison with the previous year, the highest expenditure growth in 2011 was recorded in pensioner households - of 11%, while consumption expenditure in households of wage and salary earners and in self-employed households rose by 3% and 4%, respectively.
Consumption expenditure by activity status, 2010 and 2011
(average per household member monthly, LVL)
Data of the Household Budget Survey show that – the more children in household, the less it can afford to spend. The most difficult situation is faced in households with 3 and more children, in which consumption expenditure equalled to LVL 111 and comprised only 59% of the average level of consumption expenditure in the country, calculating per household member monthly.
Quintile groups2 are used to characterize the consumption expenditure in households of different income levels. One fifth or 20% of all households is represented in each of them. In 20% of the poorest households (1st quintile) the consumption expenditure constituted only LVL 103 per household member monthly. Consumption expenditure of the 1st quintile households reached 55% of the average household consumption expenditure level in the country. These households spent more than one third (35%) of their consumption expenditure on food, but almost one fifth (19%) - on housing.
1 Private household (household) is several persons living in one dwelling and sharing expenditure or single person living separately.
2 Quintile groups are formed by arranging all households in ascending sequence by disposable income per one household member and dividing them afterwards in five equal groups.
Prepared by Living Standard’s Statistics Section
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