Government withholds consumer spending survey citing data issues

at 2:30 pm
Representative picture.

New Delhi (NVI): The government has decided not to release the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) results of 2017-2018, citing data quality issues.

In an official statement, the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation said, “In view of the data quality issues, the Ministry has decided not to release the Consumer Expenditure Survey results of 2017-2018”.

The Ministry said, “It is separately examining the feasibility of conducting the next Consumer Expenditure Survey in 2020-2021 and 2021-22 after incorporating all data quality refinements in the survey process”.

Notably, a selective portion of the data was leaked in the media that said consumer spending has fallen in the country.

The Ministry said that it has seen the media reports regarding consumer expenditure survey by the NSS stating that consumer spending is falling and the report has been withheld due to its ‘adverse’ findings.

“We would like to emphatically state that there is a rigorous procedure for vetting of data and reports which are produced through surveys. All such submissions which come to the Ministry are draft in nature and cannot be deemed to be the final report,” the Ministry said.

Further, the results of the survey were examined and it was noted that there was a significant increase in the divergence in not only the levels in the consumption pattern but also the direction of the change when compared to the other administrative data sources like the actual production of goods and services, it further said.

Concerns were also raised about the ability and sensitivity of the survey instrument to capture consumption of social services by households especially on health and education.

The matter was thus referred to a committee of experts which noted the discrepancies and came out with several recommendations including a refinement in the survey methodology and improving the data quality aspects on a concurrent basis. The recommendations of the committee are being examined for implementation in future surveys, the Ministry said in a statement.

The National Statistical Office (NSO) carried out an all-India survey on household consumption expenditure in the 75th round during the period July 2017 to June 2018.

The CES is usually conducted at quinquennial intervals and the last survey on consumer expenditure was conducted in the 68th round (July 2011 to June 2012), the statement added.