The average Indian has reason to pop the bubbly. The booming economy has led to both their saving and spending power improve dramatically. Annual per capita incomes have risen by over Rs 4,000 in five years, a trend which has never been seen before.
The per capita income has increased from Rs 16,133 to Rs 20,734 when at constant (1990-2000) prices. The biggest jump has been recorded in 2005-06 when incomes rose by 7.4, the highest figure recorded so far.
The Central Statistical Organisation report released on Wednesday summarises the growth of the Indian economy and agriculture since 2000 and the impact on the citizen.
The economy grew by nine per cent in 2005-06 and agriculture by 6 per cent during the same period. Montek Singh Aluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission, termed the report a 'positive' indication of the country's economy but expressed concern over poor agricultural growth.
"The average agricultural growth is about 2.4 per cent substantially lower than the target of four per cent," he said.
The report also provided an insight into the changing expenditure habits of Indians. Since 2000, spending on health, beverages, transport, communication and education has almost doubled. More people now prefer eating out than ever before with the restaurant industry growing at an average annual rate of 15-17 per cent, according to the report.
The average Indian has become more health conscious as spending on medical care jumped from Rs 61,199 in 2000 to Rs 1.12 lakh in 2005-06. Expenditure on sugar, potato, oil products, tobacco and its products declined, despite the rising prices of these products.
Spending on beverages, including liquor, increased from Rs 21,000 to around Rs 50,000 between 2000 and 2006. Higher incomes has meant higher domestic savings which have increased from Rs 9,73,028 crores in 2004-05 to Rs 11,56,809 in 2005-06. Indians are putting money in investments and not just physical assets, the report said.
Email Chetan Chauhan: chetan @hindustantimes.com