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Last updated: 27 Feb, 2024  

India.Growth.9.Thmb.jpg Household Consumption Expenditure Survey

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Bikky Khosla | 27 Feb, 2024

For the first time in some 11 years, the government has come out with Household Consumption Expenditure Survey, which was conducted during August 2022 to July 2023 mainly to find out household Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE) estimates. The survey sheds some important light on evolution of consumption patterns in India, highlighting how changes have occurred in rural and urban sectors in this regard.

Interestingly, the survey finds that difference between rural and urban MPCE as a percentage of rural MPCE, declined to 71% in 2022-23 from 84% in 2011-12 and more than 90% in 2004-05. In other words, the poorest rural households have now been consuming more goods and services than they did in the past and this reflects, as the survey points out, "that the government's policy initiatives for enhancing rural incomes have worked to an extent".

Another key finding is that share of food has been declining for both urban and rural households as their preferences have changed with rising incomes, but both segments are spending more on better nutrition – a welcome trend for a protein deficient country like India. Also, it is encouraging that both urban and rural households have been spending more on consumer services, durable goods and entertainment.

Meanwhile, citing the findings of the survey, a top official of the Centre's think-tank Niti Aayog has claimed that the number of Indians remaining below the poverty line now stands at less than 5% and that India’s economic growth is broad-based -- not restricted to a few people. While this sounds good and some of the survey findings are welcome, it seems that more efforts -- based on deeper analysis -- will help bring Bharat much closer to India in coming years.

I invite your opinions.
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