Common man spend less to cope with inflation

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New Delhi, Aug 3: The soaring inflation rate has dug a deep hole in the common man's pocket and he is spending 55 per cent less than the expenditure he was incurring a year ago on things like shopping and eating out, an ASSOCHAM Survey said.

Contrarily, inflation has hardly had an impact on the High Income Groups (HIG) as they continue to spend lavishly being on a shopping spree, entertainment and eating out. The MIG and classes below it regulated their expenses on such leisure items by tightening their belt to make up for the rising prices. The Survey broadly refers to MIG as those with a monthly salary of up to Rs five lakhs (including perks), while those above this fall in the HIG.

The Survey, which included about 2,000 people and was conducted over in July, reveals that double digit inflation and higher cost of money virtually unaffected HIG group in the period.

The Survey found that when the inflation rate was less than seven per cent, the MIG was spending about Rs 5,000-6,000 per month on shopping, entertainment and eating out.

This has fallen by nearly 55 per cent in the last 10-12 months and come down to less than Rs 2,800.

''The HIG in urban and other part of the country has remained totally immune with rising cost of economy as their income levels hardly got severed with rising cost of inputs,'' said ASSOCHAM President Sajjan Jindal.

On an average, the HIG spendings per month on shopping, amusement including eating out is estimated over Rs 20,000 per month, which is almost the same when the inflation was within seven per cent.

Nearly 1,000 people belonging to the HIG gave this impression that even its commuting patterns, primarily by cars, did not witness any shift despite fuel costs going up abnormally.

The Survey also revealed that the HIG, particularly the younger lot and working couples with twin salary benefits, during every weekend spend more than 30 per cent of their income on clothes, shoes, movies, buying CDs of films and music, eating out, among other things.

Its interesting to note that inflation has not fully impacted the urban males and females' personal expenses.

While the urban male spends almost Rs 400-1,000 per month on cigarettes, gutkha, pan etc, urban women spend about Rs 300-1,200 per month on cosmetics and beauty treatments.

The Chamber attributes this splurge by the HIG on the rising number of shopping malls, retail outlets and the 'throughout-the-year sale' in major metros. These factors have led to the demand for branded clothes and shoes by the urban youth.


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