CPPR undertook a study to look into the consumption behaviour and saving patterns of households in an urban local context with specific reference to fisherman community. The Study was conducted as a part of the field research of CPPR-ATLAS Policy School 2015. The study was conducted in July 2015 based on primary survey in three wards selected from Thevara, Kochi.
The Study aimed to identify: What are the trends in consumption and saving pattern and whether the general trend observed is reflected in traditional fishermen?
- The monthly expenditure of households in the urban setting is expected to be higher than the state average. The study, however, shows that it is Rs 15789 in 2014-15 for the urban households, as against the State average of Rs 16125 in 2011-12, may be attributed to recession.
- Monthly Per capita food consumption expenditure for individuals living in the fishermen community is Rs 1165 as against state average of Rs1260.33. From the NSSO 68th round information, the monthly per capita food consumption expenditure of ST community in Kerala was estimated as Rs 964.92 where as it was Rs 953.16 for SC community. These are lower than those of fishermen community in the urban setting.
- Monthly Per capita non food consumption expenditure for individuals living in the fishermen community is Rs 1272 as against state average of Rs.2148.22. For the ST and SC community in Kerala, Monthly Per capita non food consumption expenditure was estimated as Rs1228 and Rs 1075 respectively in the NSSO 68th round , again lower than that of fishermen community in the urban setting .
- Major chunk(52.1 percent) of the earning of urban households is spent on non-food items mainly education
- 47.9 per cent of urban households’ total expenditure goes to food items mainly egg, fish, and meat
- On the other hand, there is no significant difference between food and non-food consumption per capita from the fisherman community.
- The change in total consumption pattern among urban households is attributed more to the changes within sub- categories of food and non food items, rather than the changes from food to non food items. For example, the change in total consumption pattern is more due to changes in consumption expenditure between egg, fish and meat category and cereals than the changes in consumption expenditure between egg, fish and meat category and education.
- In the fishermen community, most of the additional working members who are supplementary income earners engage in fishing related activities or other unskilled jobs
- Income and number of working members are the factors that influence the consumption expenditure in urban households.
- 61 per cent of the people of the selected urban setting prefer to save in financial channels like bank deposits rather than in physical channels like land contrary to the published data by NSSO on the decline in financial savings share compared to physical savings. At the same time,no saving is done by the fishermen community except the assets they acquired. This shows high dependence on informal finance like local money lenders among the traditional fishermen community even in the local urban setting in spite of the widespread existence of formal financial institutions like banks.
- Liquidity is the top reason to prefer to save in financial institutions by the people. The security of savings in banks is the second top reason for savings in financial institutes. Among the people who prefer saving in financial channels, the higher source of preference is bank deposits weighted at 61 per cent.
- Profitable returns were considered as one of the key reasons to invest in physical assets .Considerable level of liquidity has also been considered in investing physical assets like gold. The most preferred source of saving in physical assets was land.
- Most respondents in the fishermen community reported to using borrowing as a means of overcoming income shortfalls during off season and using the peak season’s higher earnings to clear their debts.
Read the full report here Study on Consumption and Saving Patters