In line with its label as a predominantly consumer State, Kerala has come to occupy the top position in monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE) both in the rural and urban sectors of the country.
In the rural sector, the population having MPCE above Rs 950 is the highest in Kerala at 30 per cent, followed by Punjab at 13.6 per cent, according to the latest Economic Review by the State Planning Board.
Quoting the 58th round NSSO survey, the review says that in the case of average MPCE in the rural sector also, Kerala leads the table with Rs 881, followed by Punjab (Rs 788) and Haryana (Rs 703). The all-India average is Rs 531.
In the urban sector, too, MPCE is the highest in Kerala at Rs 1,267, followed by Gujarat (Rs 1,229) and Maharashtra (Rs 1,164). The average urban MPCE exceeds the average rural MPCE by around 90 per cent at the all-India level.
The review points out that the average consumer expenditure per person for a period of 30 days in the rural sector of Kerala in 1970s was almost close to that of the all-India average. However, from 1980 onwards, it began to exceed that of the country and in 2002, it reached a level that exceeded the national average by 66 per cent.
In the case of the urban sector, the average consumer expenditure per person for a period of 30 days in Kerala was lower than that of the national average till the seventies. But since1980, the trend began to reverse and it reached a level that exceeded the all-India average by 25 per cent in 2002.
The share of food items in the total consumption was exceeding the non-food items in the rural sector of the State till 1999-2000 and in the urban sector till 1993-94. Thereafter, the share of food items in the total expenditure began to fall below that of non-food items both in the rural and urban sectors.