July 15, 2024



RBI – Three forward looking surveys 

9 min read

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plays a crucial role in shaping India’s economic landscape through rigorous research and surveys. Three key surveys — Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS), Inflation Expectations Survey of Households (IESH), and Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) — provide insights into consumer sentiment, inflation trends, and economic forecasts. These surveys help gauge public perception and inform policy decisions.
Reserve Bank of India in its research role to update an average Indian regularly publishes its research papers or surveys to disburse knowledge. Its website contains the following three surveys on various topics.
Three topics, namely, consumer confidence, inflation expectations, and the assessments of professional economic forecasters on the economy are covered under the following surveys.

Let us understand the surveys which reflect the views of the respondents who were     contacted for this purpose.
Survey No. 1. Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS) – May 2024
RBI released its results of May 2024 around of its bi-monthly consumer confidence survey (CCS). The survey collects current perceptions (vis-à-vis a year ago) as well as one year ahead of expectations of households on general economic situation, employment scenario, overall price situation, own income and spending across 19 major cities.
The latest round of the surveys were conducted during May 2-11, 2024, covering 6,083 respondents. Female respondents accounted for 52.7 per cent of this sample.
What are the main highlights?
Chart 1 talks of Consumer confidence indices from Jan 2020 till May 2024. Future expectations index varies between nearly 120 at Jan 2020 to 124.8 at May 2024 showing no pessimistic outlook at all.
Let us enumerate all the available tables 1 to 8 as under to have detailed references for deeper understanding. These tables do contain 7 rounds of surveys and the detailed results such as

Remained Same
Net Response

Will increase
Will remain the same
Will decrease
Net response

Surveys were done in May 2023, July 2023, Sept 2023, Nov 2023, Jan 2024, March 2024, and May 2024.
Details of 8 tables contain the survey findings. The names of the tables are given below.
Table 1: Perceptions and Expectations on general economic situation.
Table 2: Perceptions and Expectations on Employment
Table 3: Perceptions and Expectations on Price Level
Table 4: Perceptions and Expectations on Rate of Change in Price Level (Inflation)
Table 5: Perceptions and Expectations on Income
Table 6: Perceptions and Expectations on Spending
Table 7: Perceptions and Expectations on Spending – essential items
Table 8: Perceptions and Expectations on Spending – non-essential items.
Let us summarise the results.
Main findings:
i. Consumer confidence for the current period showed a slight decline from 98.5 in March 2024 to 97.1 in May 2024 due to decline under all parameters, except spending. One can study Chart 1; Tables 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 for details..
ii. For the year ahead, consumer confidence remained at elevated level in the optimistic terrain though it declined, marginally, due to relatively tempered sentiments on the general economic situation and employment prospects (Tables 1 and 2).
iii. The future expectations index (FEI) stood at 124.8 in May 2024 (125.2 in the previous survey round) (Chart 1).
iv. Consumers expect higher rise in overall spending over the next one year vis-à-vis the previous survey round; more respondents expect an increase in both essential and non-essential spending (Tables 6, 7and 8).
Each table contains 63 entries pertaining to every survey on current perception and also on one year ahead perception.
Survey No. 2.  Inflation Expectations Survey of Households (IESH) – May 2024.
Similar to the first survey this was undertaken with the same sample of 6083 respondents. It is very exhaustive and contains the chart 1(a) and chart 1(b).
It contains the following tables.
Table 1(a): Product-wise Expectations of Prices for Three Months ahead
It has 43 columns and 360 entries giving a detailed response of those surveyed. It is a treasure house for statistically/research-oriented experts.
Table 1(b): Product-wise Expectations of Prices for One Year ahead.
It has also 43 columns and 360 entries giving a detailed response of those surveyed. It is a treasure house for statistically/research-oriented experts.
Table 2: Inflation Expectations of Various Groups: May-24
It has also 43 columns and 456 entries giving a detailed response of those surveyed. It is a treasure house for statistically/research-oriented experts.
Table 3: Household Inflation Expectations – Current Perception, Three Months and One Year Ahead Expectations.
It has also 9 columns and 60 entries giving a detailed response of those surveyed. It is a treasure house for statistically/research-oriented experts.
Table 4: Households Expecting General Price Movements in Coherence with Movements in Price Expectations of Various Product Groups: Three Months Ahead and One Year Ahead.
It has also 12 columns and 120 entries giving a detailed response of those surveyed. It is a treasure house for statistically/research-oriented experts.
Table 5(a): Cross-tabulation of Number of Respondents by Current Inflation Perception and Three Months Ahead Inflation Expectations: May-24
Three Months Ahead Inflation Rate (per cent).
It has 19 columns and 323 entries giving a detailed response of those surveyed. It is a treasure house for statistically/research-oriented experts.
Table 5(b): Cross-tabulation of Number of Respondents by Current Inflation Perception and One Year Ahead Inflation Expectations: May-24.
One Year Ahead Inflation Rate (per cent)
It has 19 columns and 323 entries giving a detailed response of those surveyed. It is a treasure house for statistically/research-oriented experts.
(The survey was conducted at bi-monthly intervals by the Reserve Bank; it provides directional information on near-term inflationary pressures as expected by respondents and may reflect their own consumption patterns. Hence, survey results reflect respondents’ views, which are not necessarily shared by the Reserve Bank.
2 All estimates of inflation expectations are given in terms of median, unless stated otherwise.
3 Results of the previous survey round were released on the Bank’s website on April 05, 2024. Unit-level data for previous rounds of the survey are available on the Bank’s ‘Database on Indian Economy’ (DBIE) portal (weblink: https://dbie.rbi.org.in/#/dbie/home) under the head ‘Unit-level Data’.)
Let us learn the high lights of the survey as under:
Chart 1(a) and chart 1(b) do give median inflation rate-perception and three months ahead expectation/one year ahead expectation.
Let us learn the high lights as specified in the research survey No. 2.
(Due to vast analysis done by RBI, I have reproduced their findings directly from the survey.)
i. Households’ inflation expectations for the three months and one year ahead periods increased by 20 basis points (bps) and 10 bps, respectively, but remained in single digits; their perception on current inflation, however, moderated by 10 bps and stood at 8.0 per cent in the latest survey round [Charts 1a and 1b; Table 3].
Higher share of respondents expected prices and inflation to rise for all major product groups over the next three months as well as one-year periods [Tables 1(a)and 1(b)].
At the aggregate level, female respondents had marginally lower inflation assessment and expectations than their male counterparts [Table 2].
Among occupation categories, self-employed respondents group expected highest inflation [Table 2].
For one year horizon, households’ expectations on general prices remained closely aligned with their assessment related to food prices and housing [Table 4].”
It is interesting to know that the per caption of women/self- employed/others vary indicating the independent thinking and judgements obtained due to their life experiences, women not necessarily carried forward by the thinking of men.
Survey No. 3 Survey of Professional Forecasters on Macroeconomic Indicators – Round1 88th
This survey collected from the views of experts is full of surprise.
Let us learn it.
The Reserve Bank has been conducting the survey of professional forecasters (SPF) since September 2007.
Forty-three panellists participated in the 88th round of the bi-monthly survey conducted during May 2024. The survey results are summarised in terms of their median forecasts and summary statistics are presented in Annexes 1-7.
There are two charts and three tables apart from the annexes 1-7.
Chart 1
Probability distribution of GDP Growth forecast for 2024-25 and 2025-26.

Forecasters have assigned highest probability to real GDP growth in the range 6.5-6.9 per cent for both the years 2024-25 and 2025-26 (Chart 1).

Chart 2
Probability distribution of C.P.I. Inflation forecast from q1: 2024-25 to q4: 2024-25.

Forecasters have assigned the highest probability to the headline CPI inflation lying in the range of 5-3.9 per cent in Q2 and in the range of 4.5-4.9 per cent during the remaining quarters of 2024-25 (Chart 2).

Let us study various tables and the facts contained therein.
Table 1: Median Forecast of Growth in GDP, GVA and components

Though in a nut shell, “Real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6.8 per cent in 2024-25, revised up by 10 basis points (bps) from the previous round. It is expected to grow by 6.7 per cent in 2025-26, revised up by 20 bps from March 2024 survey round (Table 1).”, let us go a bit more data analysis.

Obviously from Table 1,


Real GDP

Real PFCE (Private Final Consumption Expenditure)

Real GFCF (Gross Fixed Capital Formation)

Nominal PFCE

Real GVA (Gross Value Added)

a. Agriculture and Allied Activities

b. Industry

c. Services

Gross Saving rate
[per cent of gross national disposable income]

Gross capital formation rate
[per cent of GDP at current market prices]

Some more explanations

Real gross domestic product (GDP)
Annual growth in real private final consumption expenditure (PFCE) and real gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)
Real gross value added (GVA)

Table 2: Median Growth Forecast of Quarterly GDP, GVA and components
In terms of quarterly path, real GDP growth (y-o-y) is expected to remain in the narrow range of 6.7-6.9 per cent during 2024-25 (Table 2)
Table 3: Median Forecast of Quarterly Inflation

Headline CPI inflation (y-o-y) is expected at 4.8 per cent in Q1:2024-25; it is likely to moderate to 3.8 per cent in Q2:2024-25 before rising to 4.7- 4.6 per cent in the subsequent two quarters (Table 3).

Table 4: Median Forecast of Select External Sector Variables
Merchandise exports and imports are projected to grow by 3.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent, respectively, during 2024-25 and by 5.1 per cent and 6.0 per cent, respectively, during 2025-26, in US dollar terms (Table 4)
A quick follow-up survey was also undertaken.

The quick follow-up survey2was conducted during June 1-4, 2024 (i.e., after the provisional estimates of annual GDP for 2023-24 and quarterly estimates of GDP for Q4:2023-24 were released on May 31, 2024).
The median GDP growth and inflation projections of the twenty-two panellists who responded to the follow-up survey remained unchanged for both 2024-25 and 2025-26, relative to their responses in the regular survey.

Seven annexures contain lots of useful economic indicators as visualized by the experts.
An attempt has been done to explain some facets of these annexures.
Annex 1: Annual Forecasts for 2024-25 (19 columns)
The format is as under:
Annual forecasts for 2024-25
Key macroeconomic indicators   Mean   median   maximum   minimum 1st quartile   2nd quartile

GDP at constant (2011-12) prices:

Annual Growth (per cent)
Some of the economic indicators include GDP, PFCE, GFCF, GVA, individual information on industry, agriculture, Services, fiscal deficit, bank credit, yield on 10 year G-sec, merchandise exports/imports, current account balance, Overall BOP in U S  $ in billions, information on various types of inflation, information based on WPI all commodities and non-food based etc.
Annex 2: Annual Forecasts for 2025-26
Annex 3: Quarterly Forecasts from Q4:2023-24 to Q4:2024-25
Annex 4: Forecasts of CPI Combined Inflation
Annex 5: Forecasts of WPI Inflation
Annex 6: Mean probabilities attached to possible outcomes of Real GDP growth
Annex 7: Mean probabilities attached to possible outcomes of CPI (Combined) inflation
Before we conclude, some interesting facts on economy which may ring in our ears during the current quarters / future quarters.

GDP at various quarters expected: Maximum Minimum

Maximum (%)
Minimum (%)



Forecasts of CPI Combined Inflation

Maximum (%)
Minimum (%)





Forecasts of WPI Inflation, all commodities

Maximum (%)
Minimum (%)





Some of the technical words used in discussions.
Note: CPI: Consumer Price Index; GDP: Gross Domestic Products; GFCF: Gross Fixed Capital Formation; GVA: Gross Value Added; IIP: Index of Industrial Production; PFCE: Private Final Consumption Expenditure; WPI: Wholesale Price Index.
RBI has widened its role and has expanded into unknown but people centric areas like economic growth, inflation from professional forecasters, an average household, and consumer confidence survey which helps an average citizen to know the exact position of the nation imbibing enormous confidence to lead a normal life. Pessimism slowly yielded place to normal living which includes expectations for life like housing, purchase of vehicle, savings for the family and education of the children. Yes, with actual information supported by top intellectuals and collected by the experts from RBI, though technically owned by it, India is among the top most nations economically to lead its vast population.
Kindly read the original survey reports to have an in-depth and authentic knowledge to take a concrete action. I just tried to give my views, and arrive at an analysis which do not constitute any legal advice or economic consultation.

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