Indian Homes Spend More On Clothes, Less On Food, Says New Study

A recent government report has revealed that Indian household spending has more than doubled in over a decade, with clothing claiming a larger share of expenditure. The report by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), which operates under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, conducted the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) and shows household Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE) in rural and urban areas.

According to a Bloomberg report, the survey reveals that expenditure of food in monthly consumption in rural areas declined to 46.4 per cent in the latest survey, from 53 per cent in 2011-12. Non-food-related consumption increased to 53.6 per cent from 47 per cent.

The survey released late on Saturday estimates that average rural consumer spending rose to 3,773 rupees ($45.54) a month per person for the 12 months through July from 1,430 rupees in the previous survey in 2011-2012, while urban spending rose to 6,459 rupees ($77.95) from 2,630 rupees.

Additionally, the report indicates a decrease in spending among Indians on essential food items, particularly staples like rice and wheat, in comparison to discretionary purchases such as processed food, as well as durable goods like televisions.

“The latest consumer expenditure survey gives insight on spending patterns of Indian households and is key to gauge demand in the economy,” said the report. It added, “The data will also be used by the government to readjust items considered for calculating retail inflation and gross domestic product data.”

It has been reported that the findings of the survey will form the basis of a review of India’s consumer price inflation index.