Urban general household expenditure has dropped by 2.08 per cent to Rs. 15,789 per month in 2015 against National Sample Survey (2011-12) putting State-level general household expenditure at Rs. 16,125, says a survey of consumption and savings in Thevara in July.
The sample comprised 60 general households and 30 households belonging to fishermen.
The survey found that 47.9 per cent expenses by general households went into food items and the rest into non-food items, primarily education, which accounted for 12.6 per cent of the non-food expenditure. Among food items, egg, fish and meat accounted for 9.61 per cent of the expenses.
The average per capita monthly food expenditure among the fishermen households of Rs. 1,155 stood below the State average of Rs. 1,260. Per capita non-food expenditure for the State as a whole stands at Rs. 2,148 (2011-12) while the survey found that among the fishermen households the average expenditure was Rs. 1,272.
The survey, carried out by Martin Patrick, economist, for the city-based Centre for Public Policy Research, also showed that the general urban households here bucked the national trend in savings.
Sixty one per cent of the general households preferred to save through financial channels rather than in physical assets. Planning Commission data showed that at the national level, 68 per cent of the savings went into physical assets while 32 per cent went into financial channels, including bank deposits, stocks and other instruments. Until 2000, savings were divided almost equally between financial channels and physical assets at the national level, said Dr. Patrick.
Among physical assets, the most preferred investment is in land.
Thirty-seven per cent of the financial savings went into bank deposits. Liquidity and security are the key reasons for the preference for financial assets, said Dr. Patrick, who also felt that the fall in general household expenditure could be attributed to the continuing economic recession. The study showed that the average monthly household savings was Rs. 5,000, which would be inadequate for acquiring physical assets.
The survey found that 47.9 per cent expenses by general households went into food items.