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Shifting consumption patterns in India 
(Wed, 13 Feb Pre-Open) 
 
There is lot of statistics available to determine the real locus of a nation in the economic evolution. We believe that for those who are well aware of consumer behavior and demographics, consumption pattern is enough to make a reasonable guess regarding a nation's standing. If latest GDP data is anything to go by, there is a categorical shift in the spending pattern that suggests that people in the country are getting wealthier. As per the data, while spending on clothing, food and footwear has been scaled back, more money is being doled out on value adding items such as travel, eating out and entertainment and communication services. This is a sign of rising purchasing power. The trend is in sharp contrast to the year 2008-2009 when global economy went into a recession.

While the trend seems encouraging, it gives little idea about the distribution of wealth among the masses. For a diverse country like India where disparity is so prominent, one should draw conclusions with caution. Understanding these patterns can let us tap next decade of growth. Hence, it is a perfect research material and key input for effective strategy planning for corporate world. However, as far as effective policy making is concerned, the Government should take a holistic view. It should further focus on the indicators that give an idea about distribution of wealth and frame policies that promote growth without increasing the gap between rich and poor. It is heartening to know that some of us have moved up in the social strata where focus has shifted to lifestyle than basic survival. But the fact remains that there is a huge segment in the society where meeting basic needs on a daily basis is the only focus in life. Unless the gap is bridged, all we will witness a skewed, unfair and unstable growth that may distort the entire economy.

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