Research probes why Lithuania's consumption rate is highest in Baltics

Research by Swedbank analysts Nerijus Maciulis and Liis Elmik suggests Lithuanians consume the most in the Baltics despite having lower incomes than the Estonians.

"Actual individual consumption data published by Eurostat shows that Lithuanian households have much better material welfare than Estonians or Latvians. The data suggest that Lithuanians consume substantially more in real terms, either consuming more or better-quality goods and services per head. Lithuania’s price-adjusted consumption per person amounted to 90% of the EU average in 2018, while it was only 74% in Estonia and 70% in Latvia. This may seem surprising, given that Estonia’s household wages and pensions are substantially higher than Lithuania’s," the introduction says. 

In the paper, The curious case of household consumption, Maciulis and Elmik suggest, with the caveat that there's some uncertainty about the data, that while consumption is highest in Lithuania among the Baltics, this may not reflect actual living standards and could be attributed to a melange of factors. 

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