Mentioning the details of the survey which has not been made public, a leading business daily has suggested that consumer spending has hit a 4-decade low in 2017-18. The data has been compiled in real terms i.e. adjusted for inflation and as per the Key Indicators: Household Consumer Expenditure in India" survey conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the average expenditure on a month on month basis has reduced from Rs 1,501 in 2011-12 to Rs. 1446 in 2017-18. In the year, 2011-12, there was witnessed a sharp increase in monthly per capita consumption expenditure which has gone up by 13%.
The survey carried out between July 2017 and June 2018 came out with its finding that in rural areas the spending declined 8.8% while in the case of urban India the corresponding fall was recorded at 2% during the 6 year time frame.
As per the article that all across the nation there was less expenditure incurred on essential food items including oil, salt, sugar and spices. And rural population bought all of the items less except for milk and milk related goods.
In the case of non-food expenditure, there remained a mixed picture with rural population spending going lower by 7.6%. But on the contrary, the spending on this head increased by urban population by 3.8%.
And the data pains a highly gloomy picture with deep-rooted poverty. Abhijit Sen, a former Planning Commission member and economist pointed that the slowdown might have started in 2012-13 and at that time even when the wages were trending higher and because of the slowdown in the farm area, there were no non-farm jobs for the workers.
Decline in food consumption to decade low points to high levels of malnutrition cases. And in the last atleast 50 years, such an incidence of fall in food consumption did not occurred and the last time it was reported was in 1972-73.