2022-23 & 2023-24 Surveys of Household Spending
STORIES, ANALYSES, EXPERT VIEWS
The revamped Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CES) for 2022-23 and for 2023-24, is to provide more details of income and spending patterns in rural and urban households.
Although the results of the first survey for 2022-23, which will end in July, are likely to come through by December this year, officials involved in the exercise indicated that it has not yet been decided if these will be released immediately. The second of the two revamped Surveys, for 2023-24, is set to be launched in July this year and a decision on releasing the results of these two Surveys together would mean that it would be pushed back to well beyond the summer of 2024.
The revamped surveys involve three visits to a household and two back-to-back surveys are being conducted to see “stability in results”, as the last comparative CES is more than a decade old - July 2011 to June 2012. The survey is held every five years. The government did not agree with the 2017-18 CES citing “quality issues”. Studies based on leaked findings of that survey had pointed to a rise in poverty levels in 2017-18.
The CES will cover around 1.2 lakh households in rural areas and around 84,000 households in urban areas.
Broader scope of the survey: The revamped survey includes items that have seen higher consumption trends in recent times. Also, questions for seeking inputs on welfare subsidies such as food grains are learnt to have been included.
Experts pointed out that the issues arising out of the revamped procedure would include an increase in working time and a possibility of overestimating consumption. Also, the changes in data collection, items and methodology may make the results incomparable with previous consumer expenditure surveys and new poverty estimates will have to be drawn since they won’t be consistent with earlier ones, they said.
Objectives: The CES aims at generating estimates of household Monthly Per Capita Consumer Expenditure (MPCE) and the distribution of households and persons over the MPCE range separately for rural and urban sectors across the country and for different socio-economic groups.
It is designed to collect information regarding expenditure on consumption of goods and services (food and non-food) consumed by households. The results are then also used for rebasing of the GDP and other macroeconomic indicators such as retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
For rebasing of the CPI from the current base of 2012, a market survey is required to be conducted after the CES, based on which then the consumption basket gets determined. “Market survey will be done after that. If we don’t have confidence in the estimates, then we can’t use it for market survey,” the official said.