Kerala tops in non-food expenditure, Haryana in food; Gujarat grows fastest

Kerala emerged on top in per capita spending on non-food items, while Gujarat is the fastest growing, according to a survey by industry chamber Assocham. Haryana emerged on top in terms of expenditure on food-items.

The numbers seem to indicate that Keralites, and South Indians in general, spend much less on food compared to others, despite being the biggest spenders on ‘durable’ items.

For example, the top spender on food items was Haryana, with each person (including children) spending Rs 2,584 per month for food in the state. It was followed by Jammu and Kashmir (Rs 2,378) and Punjab (Rs 2,377).

Southern states seemed to spend very less on food, despite having decent income levels. For example, Tamil Nadu was only the second from the bottom (just ahead of Odisha) in monthly per-capita food expenditure.

Odisha’s average rural household monthly expenditure on food was just about Rs 1,215, followed by Tamil Nadu (Rs 1,280), Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (Rs 1,322).

In contrast, Kerala led in non-food expenditure with a per-capita expenditure of Rs 3,078 per month.

Kerala was followed by Punjab and Haryana in this regard with Rs 2,883 and Rs 2,580 respectively.

The fastest climber during the five-year period under the study (2005-10) was Gujarat. Here, food spending grew 28 percent during the period and non-food items grew 33 percent. Haryana and Maharashtra have also registered a healthy growth rate of about 24 per cent in per capita food consumption expenditure across India.

On non-food items expenditure growth, second was Kerala (27 per cent), followed by North Eastern States (26 per cent) and Assam (24 per cent) in the five years to 2009-10.

All-India average growth for food was 14 percent and for non-food was 17 percent. For FMCG (packaged items like soaps etc.), it was over 11 percent.

In non-food expenditure, Odisha (Rs 936), Bihar and Jharkhand (Rs 1,051) and West Bengal (Rs 1,071) have the lowest monthly household expenditure.

Gujarat also topped in terms of household consumption of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) during the period. West Bengal has registered negative growth rate of about two per cent for household expenditure on FMCG.

The slowest growth was in the state of West Bengal at about 1.6 per cent and 8 per cent in per-capita food and non-food expenditure respectively.

Non-food expenditure in rural areas increased at a lower rate in West Bengal and Haryana (eight per cent), Madhya Pradesh (10 per cent) and Punjab (14 per cent).

For rural spending on FMCG, the states of Haryana, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir came out on top with Rs 2,172, Rs 1,884 and Rs 1,866 respectively per month. While rural households in Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh spend less than Rs 1,000 on FMCG per month.

Apart from Gujarat, the states of Haryana (24.5 per cent) and Maharashtra (18.6 per cent) have witnessed fastest growth in the household monthly expenditure on FMCG and apart from West Bengal, the state of Odisha has also seen significant decline in household expenditure on FMCG in real terms.

An earlier study by the National Sample Survey Office had also found similar results.