Basing on critical analysis of Latvia households’ consumption expenditure structure during the period from 2003 until 2010, the authors have identified the main tendencies of changes and characterized the main macroeconomic indicators, which have seriously influenced the consumption structure during different phases of economic cycle. The authors have applied econometric methods to characterize the correlation of particular consumption expenditure groups’ proportion with households’ consumption expenditure. The analysis enabled the authors to detect, which consumption expenditure groups exactly are the most important for ensuring the welfare level, and E. Engel’s regularity was also discussed in this respect. The analysis of the data obtained in scope of the households’ member survey enabled the authors to identify the main directions of consumer behaviour changes during the economic recession period and present proposals for improvement of consumption as a significant indicator of country’s welfare and sustainable development.
Hemp is a very valuable plant because each part of it can be used in many ways. It can be used to produce innovative products for building construction, chemical industry, medicine, textile production, consumption, and agriculture. In the article, the authors have aggregated the information about hemp cultivation and processing sector development in the European Union and Latvia and have described its cultivation possibilities, technological processes, and processing capabilities. The aim of the present article was to reveal the topicalities of hemp industry development in the European Union and Latvia. The tasks of the research were to present an overall description of hemp industry development trends in the European Union and to characterize hemp industry development in Latvia focusing on the national support activities and hemp cultivation and processing opportunities. The authors of the article have performed an extensive secondary data analysis to summarize the most important activities that should be done at the national scale to further enhance the development of hemp industry in Latvia.