Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

What is Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES)?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: HCES

Mains level: Not Much

The Centre has kicked off the process for conducting the quinquennial Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) this month.

What is the Household Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES)?

  • The HCES is traditionally a quinquennial (recurring every five years) survey conducted by the government’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
  • It is designed to collect information on the consumer spending patterns of households across the country, both urban and rural.
  • Typically, the Survey is conducted between July and June and this year’s exercise is expected to be completed by June 2023.


  • The HCES is used to arrive at estimates of poverty levels as well as review key economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • The results of the survey are also utilised for updating the consumption basket and for base revision of the Consumer Price Index.
  • It helps generate estimates of household Monthly Per Capita Consumer Expenditure (MPCE) as well as the distribution of households and persons over the MPCE classes.
  • It is used to arrive at estimates of poverty levels in different parts of the country and to review economic indicators such as the GDP, since 2011-12.

Why need this survey?

  • India has not had any official estimates on per capita household spending.
  • It provides separate data sets for rural and urban parts, and also splice spending patterns for each State and Union Territory, as well as different socio-economic groups.

What about the previous survey?

  • The survey was last held in 2017-2018.
  • The government announced that it had data quality issues.
  • Hence the results were not released.


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