Bangladesh's consumption rate has picked up to a record high of 18.36 per cent in the current fiscal year (FY), 2021-22, resulting in higher economic output.
The consumption has swelled to Tk 38.19 trillion in the current fiscal compared to Tk 26.55 trillion in FY 21, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data showed on Wednesday.
Private consumption played the vital role in improving the overall consumption, as opening up of the economy after a massive halt over the last couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic raised the intake.
According to the BBS provisional data, the share of consumption in the GDP increased by 3.78 percentage points in FY 2022 compared to the last fiscal.
The share of private sector consumption at current price was estimated to pick up to 72.77 per cent of the GDP in the current fiscal from that of 68.78 per cent in FY 2021.
The share of public sector consumption in the GDP, however, dropped by 0.21 percentage points to 5.67 per cent, the BBS data showed.
Consumption is defined as the use of goods and services by a household. It is a component in the GDP calculation. Macroecono-mists typically use consumption as a proxy of the overall economy.
Meanwhile, economists have raised questions over the huge consumption growth within a year, saying there are some discrepancies regarding the correlated facts and figures.
Dr Zahid Hussain, former lead economist at the World Bank, told the FE that the latest data on higher consumption is a puzzle, as it does not match with other relevant data and figures.
"You see, the BBS has shown the final consumption expenditure growth in some areas. The growth of final consumption expenditure at the household has been estimated with a massive jump of 13.18 per cent in the current FY."
"We know that the growth at the final consumption expenditure at the household declined to only 3.0 per cent in FY 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic," he noted.
"But, in FY 2021, it has picked up to 8.02 per cent. In FY 2022, the growth is estimated to be 13.18 per cent. How is the growth possible?"
"When both our gross national savings and gross domestic savings are showing almost a static trend over the years, how can the household consumption expenditure swell at such a rate?"
"Besides, when the agricultural growth in the GDP declines, the wage index rate drops, the remittance falls, how can the consumptions at the household as well as at the national level swells?"
Actually, the 7.25 per cent GDP growth estimation for the current fiscal is a big puzzle, as the consumption, savings and real expenditure capacity of people do not match with the BBS data, Dr Hussain added.
Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said the huge gathering of people at OMS truck sale does not reflect the scenario - as presented in the BBS data.
If people would have better consumption capabilities, they might not have gathered at the OMS trucks, and the government might not need to offer 10 million cards to the poor households to get essential products at subsidised rates.
So, the BBS consumption data as well as the GDP data is questionable, he added.