India’s consumption numbers point to strain, inequality

The latest GDP data, albeit impressive, belie the oft-repeated consumption breakout story and green shoots. Even more worrying is the unequal nature of consumption.

On 17 May, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a bold projection. “The Indian consumer market is likely to double by 2031, there is a $2.9 tn opportunity in that,” she said, citing an S&P report at the Annual Business Summit of the Confederation of Indian Industry. 

Two weeks later, the government announced India’s 2023-24 GDP growth number. Here, private consumption—a key component of GDP—showed signs of strain rather than opportunity. 

The divergence between what the government would have you believe and the actual data is hard to miss.

Private final consumption expenditure, or PFCE, grew at a rate less than …


Ujval Nanavati

Ujval leads our Business vertical at The Morning Context. In a corporate career spanning 14 years, he has worked across startups, consulting firms, multinational corporations and large Indian companies, including India Infoline, ICICI, KPMG, Tata Steel and Jubilant Pharma. Ujval has been a freelance writer and trainer for eight years, with bylines in Forbes India and The Economic Times.

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