Govt. initiates work on consumer spending survey

Indian shop employees adjust garments to mannequins displayed at a storefront in Siliguri.

Indian shop employees adjust garments to mannequins displayed at a storefront in Siliguri. | Photo Credit: DIPTENDU DUTTA

The Centre has kicked off the process for conducting the quinquennial Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) this month, and the questionnaire for the survey has been tweaked to capture data about items received free from the government’s welfare programmes. 

Field work for the survey that will, for the first time, involve three visits over a year to assess spending patterns in selected households, will begin soon, Rao Inderjit Singh, the Minister of State with independent charge of Statistics and Programme Implementation informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply. 

Conducted every five years, the HCES is used to arrive at estimates of poverty levels as well as review key economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The results of the survey are also utilised for updating the consumption basket and for base revision of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

The survey was last conducted in 2017-18 but its findings were not published, citing data quality concerns, so the last publicly available official estimates on consumer spending are from 2011-12. 

“The survey on Household Consumption Expenditure has been planned to collect disaggregated level information from the households on consumption of food and non-food items,” Mr. Singh explained. “The process to conduct the HCES has been initiated in July, 2022,”  he said, adding that enumerators were undergoing training currently.

“Appropriate provision in the questionnaire has been made to capture information on quantity of items received free of cost under various Government sponsored social welfare programmes,” the Minister said, adding that the survey’s data collection methods had been modified and the length of the questionnaire ‘optimised’ to reduce canvassing time. 

While the 2011-12 survey data was collected in a single visit to selected households, in the case of HCES July 2022- June 2023, a questionnaire format had been adopted to collect information on household consumption in three visits through a Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI), he pointed out.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2022 9:05:24 pm |