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Date : Oct 04, 2017
Households’ Inflation Expectations Survey

Today, the Reserve Bank released the results of the September 2017 round of the Inflation Expectations Survey of Households (IESH)1. The survey was conducted in 18 cities and the results are based on responses from 4,996 urban households covering various occupational categories (Table 1).

Highlights:

  1. The proportion of respondents expecting general prices to increase in the next three months went up further in the September 2017 round relative to the previous round of the survey, with more than half of the respondents expecting prices to rise by more than the current rate (Table 2).

  2. Expectations of higher inflation in the near term strengthened across all product groups (Table 2).

  3. Similar sentiment prevailed in the case of one year ahead expectations as well (Table 2).

  4. From quantitative responses, however, it bears out that the median inflation expectations for three months ahead and one year ahead softened by 30 and 60 basis points, respectively, as compared with the June 2017 round, and by 230 and 340 basis points, respectively, from the September 2016 round (Chart 1).


Table 1: Respondents’ Profile (Category): Share in Total Sample - September 2017
Category of Respondents Share in Total (%) Target Share (%)
Financial Sector Employees 9.9 10.0
Other Employees 16.2 15.0
Self-employed 19.8 20.0
Housewives 28.9 30.0
Retired Persons 9.9 10.0
Daily Workers 9.9 10.0
Others 5.4 5.0

Table 2: Product-wise Expectations of Prices for Three Months ahead and One Year ahead
(Percentage of Respondents)
Round Sep-16 Mar-17 May-17 Jun-17 Sep-17 Sep-16 Mar-17 May-17 Jun-17 Sep-17
Options: General Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Prices will increase 78.6 73.8 70.2 77.2 81.3 86.2 81.0 80.9 82.4 93.5
Price increase more than current rate 47.0 37.9 35.9 39.9 50.5 55.0 44.5 46.3 44.1 61.2
Price increase similar to current rate 18.5 27.3 25.0 26.6 25.4 20.4 28.5 26.4 28.3 27.3
Price increase less than current rate 13.0 8.6 9.3 10.7 5.4 10.8 8.0 8.2 10.1 5.0
No change in prices 15.7 21.5 25.2 16.8 15.8 9.2 13.6 14.3 11.2 4.1
Decline in prices 5.8 4.7 4.6 6.0 2.9 4.6 5.4 4.8 6.4 2.5
Options: Food Product Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Prices will increase 74.7 74.2 73.7 71.6 79.5 83.1 78.0 79.8 75.8 84.8
Price increase more than current rate 42.8 39.5 38.6 39.1 47.5 51.1 39.7 42.1 38.0 51.4
Price increase similar to current rate 19.3 24.7 23.6 21.8 24.8 20.5 29.0 27.2 26.8 27.5
Price increase less than current rate 12.6 9.9 11.5 10.7 7.3 11.5 9.3 10.6 11.0 6.0
No change in prices 16.6 16.5 18.2 14.2 13.3 10.8 12.8 11.9 12.4 9.3
Decline in prices 8.6 9.3 8.1 14.3 7.1 6.1 9.2 8.2 11.8 5.9
Options: Non-Food Product Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Prices will increase 63.2 69.6 66.3 72.1 74.7 72.1 72.3 73.9 74.8 81.4
Price increase more than current rate 35.2 34.1 32.4 36.9 43.4 42.8 35.1 37.1 36.3 48.2
Price increase similar to current rate 16.7 25.1 23.4 23.6 24.8 18.3 27.5 25.7 27.3 26.7
Price increase less than current rate 11.3 10.4 10.6 11.6 6.6 11.0 9.7 11.1 11.2 6.5
No change in prices 29.3 23.6 26.9 18.1 19.3 20.5 20.3 19.1 16.3 13.8
Decline in prices 7.6 6.8 6.8 9.8 5.9 7.4 7.4 7.0 9.0 4.8
Options: Household Durables Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Prices will increase 54.1 54.2 51.1 65.4 61.5 68.1 60.8 62.1 70.3 70.7
Price increase more than current rate 30.3 27.2 25.1 34.7 37.3 39.6 29.7 31.9 35.7 42.7
Price increase similar to current rate 13.9 19.3 17.1 20.6 19.1 17.8 22.8 21.5 24.3 22.6
Price increase less than current rate 9.9 7.6 8.9 10.1 5.1 10.8 8.3 8.8 10.3 5.4
No change in prices 32.3 30.8 33.6 20.6 25.3 21.8 25.3 24.9 17.5 19.1
Decline in prices 13.6 15.1 15.3 14.0 13.2 10.1 13.9 13.0 12.2 10.2
Options: Housing Prices Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Prices will increase 68.7 56.7 57.3 64.3 68.9 79.1 68.7 69.7 73.4 78.9
Price increase more than current rate 44.4 32.4 33.2 37.1 44.9 54.8 39.3 39.7 42.2 53.0
Price increase similar to current rate 15.2 16.9 17.0 18.6 19.2 15.7 21.5 22.7 22.4 20.8
Price increase less than current rate 9.1 7.4 7.1 8.7 4.9 8.5 8.0 7.3 8.8 5.1
No change in prices 22.3 24.9 26.4 22.0 20.0 13.0 16.9 17.4 15.1 12.4
Decline in prices 9.1 18.4 16.2 13.6 11.1 7.9 14.3 12.9 11.5 8.8
Options: Cost of Services Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Prices will increase 64.5 67.0 61.3 68.9 68.7 81.9 77.4 75.5 78.6 82.9
Price increase more than current rate 36.9 33.6 29.4 35.1 40.7 49.3 38.5 37.3 38.8 48.6
Price increase similar to current rate 17.6 23.8 21.7 23.7 22.5 21.3 28.5 26.8 27.8 27.9
Price increase less than current rate 10.0 9.7 10.2 10.2 5.5 11.4 10.4 11.4 12.0 6.4
No change in prices 30.3 27.5 33.0 25.3 27.3 13.6 17.4 19.1 15.6 13.5
Decline in prices 5.2 5.6 5.7 5.8 4.0 4.5 5.2 5.5 5.9 3.7

Table 3: Households Expecting General Price Movements in Coherence with Movements in Price Expectations of Various Product Groups: Three Months Ahead and One Year Ahead
(Percentage of Respondents)
Round No. Survey period ended Food Non-Food Households durables Housing Cost of services
Three Months Ahead
45 Sep-16 62.6 52.2 46.2 50.1 49.3
47 Mar-17 57.1 56.7 48.1 48.3 57.7
47B May-17 59.8 59.7 51.0 52.5 60.3
48 Jun-17 62.0 64.3 57.2 57.6 63.4
49 Sep-17 66.8 65.8 56.8 60.1 64.9
One Year Ahead
45 Sep-16 67.9 56.5 52.5 57.1 58.4
47 Mar-17 62.3 60.4 51.5 54.6 64.1
47B May-17 66.8 64.4 56.4 58.7 67.3
48 Jun-17 68.2 67.7 62.0 63.2 70.0
49 Sep-17 72.7 69.9 60.5 67.4 69.8

Table 4: Household Inflation Expectations – Current, Three Months and One Year Ahead
Survey Round Survey Period Ended Inflation rate in Per cent
Current Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Mean Median Std. Dev. Mean Median Std. Dev. Mean Median Std. Dev.
45 Sep-16 9.2 8.7 4.0 9.7 9.5 4.4 11.6 11.4 3.9
47 Mar-17 7.8 6.8 4.0 8.2 7.5 4.1 9.3 8.8 4.2
47B May-17 7.5 6.3 4.0 8.1 7.3 4.2 9.2 8.5 4.3
48 Jun-17 7.3 6.4 3.8 8.1 7.5 3.9 9.1 8.6 4.1
49 Sep-17 7.6 6.3 3.9 8.2 7.2 4.0 8.7 8.0 4.5

Table 5: Factors that Explain the Total Variability
Round No. Survey Period Ended Current Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
45 Sep-16 City, Age-Group City, Age-Group City
47 Mar-17 City, Age-Group City, Category City, Category
47B May-17 City, Gender, Category City, Category City, Category
48 Jun-17 City, Age-Group, Category City, Age-Group, Category City, Age-Group, Category
49 Sep-17 City, Gender, Category City, Age-Group, Category City, Gender, Category

Table 6 : Various Group-wise Inflation Expectations: September 2017
  Current Three Months Ahead One Year Ahead
Mean Median Std. Dev. Mean Median Std. Dev. Mean Median Std. Dev.
Overall 7.6 6.3 3.9 8.2 7.2 4.0 8.7 8.0 4.5
Gender-wise
Male 7.7 6.4 4.0 8.2 7.2 4.1 8.6 7.9 4.6
Female 7.5 6.1 3.8 8.2 7.2 3.9 8.8 8.0 4.3
Category-wise
Financial Sector Employees 7.4 6.3 3.8 7.9 6.9 3.9 8.3 7.6 4.3
Other Employees 7.7 6.5 3.9 8.3 7.5 4.0 8.9 8.3 4.5
Self Employed 7.6 6.3 3.9 8.0 7.1 4.1 8.3 7.8 4.5
Housewives 7.5 6.1 3.8 8.2 7.2 3.9 8.9 8.0 4.2
Retired Persons 8.1 6.7 4.2 8.7 7.6 4.3 9.2 8.4 4.7
Daily Workers 7.8 6.2 4.2 8.2 7.1 4.2 8.7 8.0 4.7
Other category 7.2 6.0 3.4 7.8 7.1 3.6 8.3 7.9 4.2
Age Group-wise
Up to 25 years 7.1 6.0 3.5 7.8 7.1 3.6 8.4 7.9 4.1
25 to 30 years 7.2 6.0 3.6 7.8 6.9 3.6 8.4 7.7 4.0
30 to 35 years 7.6 6.2 3.9 8.1 7.3 4.0 8.7 8.1 4.5
35 to 40 years 7.8 6.5 3.9 8.3 7.4 4.0 8.8 8.0 4.6
40 to 45 years 7.5 6.2 4.0 7.9 6.9 4.1 8.4 7.8 4.5
45 to 50 years 7.8 6.2 4.1 8.3 7.3 4.2 8.7 8.2 4.6
50 to 55 years 8.3 7.1 4.4 9.0 7.9 4.5 9.1 8.4 5.1
55 to 60 years 8.2 6.8 4.0 9.0 8.2 4.1 9.2 8.6 4.7
60 years and above 8.0 6.5 4.2 8.5 7.4 4.3 9.0 8.2 4.7
City-wise
Ahmedabad 8.2 7.4 3.8 9.3 9.2 4.1 9.0 9.4 5.0
Bengaluru 4.4 4.3 1.8 4.9 4.7 2.2 5.0 5.1 2.9
Bhopal 7.9 6.5 4.3 8.3 7.5 4.4 7.6 6.9 5.5
Bhubaneswar 9.9 10.1 4.1 11.0 10.8 4.1 11.9 12.5 4.4
Chennai 9.3 8.1 4.2 10.8 10.3 4.0 12.4 12.5 3.7
Delhi 6.8 6.1 3.1 7.0 6.5 3.1 7.1 6.5 3.2
Guwahati 13.4 16.0 4.1 11.1 12.4 5.7 12.6 15.3 4.9
Hyderabad 5.8 5.7 0.7 6.8 6.7 0.8 8.0 7.9 1.1
Jaipur 6.7 5.9 2.0 6.6 6.0 3.3 6.5 6.5 4.0
Kolkata 9.4 8.3 4.3 10.2 9.3 4.1 11.1 10.4 4.2
Lucknow 7.5 5.8 4.7 8.1 6.7 4.7 8.9 8.1 4.8
Mumbai 6.8 6.6 3.0 7.5 7.4 3.1 7.9 7.8 3.8
Nagpur 7.4 6.0 3.9 8.0 6.8 4.0 8.1 7.6 4.4
Patna 6.4 6.2 2.0 7.0 6.8 2.3 7.5 7.4 2.8
Thiruvananthapuram 7.7 6.6 3.6 8.5 7.8 4.0 8.6 8.5 5.0
Chandigarh 5.8 5.5 1.7 6.0 5.9 1.7 6.2 6.5 2.6
Ranchi 5.3 5.4 1.4 5.8 5.6 1.5 6.7 6.0 2.1
Raipur 6.0 5.5 3.1 6.7 6.1 3.3 7.1 7.1 3.9

Table 7: Cross-tabulation of Current and Three Months Ahead Inflation Expectations: September 2017
(Number of Respondents)
Three Months Ahead Inflation Rate (per cent)
Current Inflation Rate (per cent)   <1 1-<2 2-<3 3-<4 4-<5 5-<6 6-<7 7-<8 8-<9 9-<10 10-<11 11-<12 12-<13 13-<14 14-<15 15-<16 >=16 No idea Total
<1 18 2 5 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 28
1-<2 7 27 11 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 53
2-<3 1 9 121 61 21 12 0 3 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 230
3-<4 4 3 16 116 67 28 7 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 248
4-<5 2 1 5 14 209 115 59 3 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 418
5-<6 10 3 7 18 28 611 350 233 50 4 53 0 1 0 0 6 0 6 1380
6-<7 2 0 0 4 3 20 243 186 56 15 15 3 1 0 0 0 1 2 551
7-<8 4 0 1 3 3 3 9 213 113 63 32 4 5 0 1 0 0 1 455
8-<9 3 0 2 0 2 5 2 2 161 60 75 6 11 1 0 1 0 0 331
9-<10 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 51 38 17 11 3 3 2 0 0 127
10-<11 5 0 1 0 0 5 1 3 3 3 210 35 79 15 11 59 25 1 456
11-<12 2 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 19 9 16 3 7 0 0 63
12-<13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 17 7 5 3 3 1 37
13-<14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 6 2 5 4 0 20
14-<15 1 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 9 8 14 2 40
15-<16 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 4 1 0 1 0 48 39 4 101
>=16 17 0 4 5 0 3 0 0 1 0 18 0 0 0 0 7 388 15 458
Total 76 46 174 228 334 809 674 647 395 200 452 85 136 49 34 146 475 36 4996

Table 8: Cross-tabulation of Current and One Year Ahead Inflation Expectations: September 2017
(Number of Respondents)
One Year Ahead Inflation Rate (per cent)
Current Inflation Rate (per cent)   <1 1-<2 2-<3 3-<4 4-<5 5-<6 6-<7 7-<8 8-<9 9-<10 10-<11 11-<12 12-<13 13-<14 14-<15 15-<16 >=16 No idea Total
<1 18 2 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 28
1-<2 15 11 16 6 2 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 53
2-<3 28 0 82 27 43 24 12 6 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 230
3-<4 30 2 4 81 31 57 16 13 4 1 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 248
4-<5 33 0 0 1 146 66 88 32 34 3 8 0 3 1 0 1 0 2 418
5-<6 80 0 2 11 6 428 139 307 146 91 107 7 18 3 0 17 6 12 1380
6-<7 20 0 0 0 1 2 201 94 123 36 41 4 14 2 1 2 5 5 551
7-<8 27 0 0 1 0 1 7 159 79 54 69 15 13 10 7 6 3 4 455
8-<9 16 0 1 0 0 3 2 1 109 38 71 22 32 8 8 14 6 0 331
9-<10 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 43 13 15 16 4 11 11 5 0 127
10-<11 20 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 5 1 152 16 45 22 19 81 87 3 456
11-<12 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 1 19 3 3 7 15 9 0 63
12-<13 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0 4 9 5 3 37
13-<14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 2 1 11 0 20
14-<15 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 10 3 20 2 40
15-<16 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 37 53 2 101
>=16 16 0 2 1 0 6 0 0 2 0 5 2 2 0 1 6 387 28 458
Total 316 16 109 128 229 598 468 616 508 270 479 100 162 57 71 203 600 66 4996

1 The survey is conducted at regular intervals by the Reserve Bank of India. It provides useful directional information on near-term inflationary pressures and also supplements other economic indicators. However, these expectations are formed by the respondents and may reflect their consumption pattern. Hence, it should not be treated as benchmarks for official measures of inflation.


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