Household Budget Survey 2017– Main Results &
Updated weights for the Consumer Price Index
Statistics Mauritius conducted the tenth Household Budget Survey (HBS) from January to December 2017 in the Republic of Mauritius. The survey studied the consumption pattern of the population living in private households in Mauritius with a view to updating the basket of goods and services used for the computation of the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI).
1.         Average monthly household disposable income increased by 25.1% from Rs 29,420 in 2012 to Rs 36,810 in 2017. The real increase, i.e. after adjusting for an inflation rate of 13.3% and decrease in household size (from 3.5 to 3.4), works out to 13.7%.
2.         Income inequality decreased between 2012 and 2017. The share of total income going to the 20% of households at the lower end of the income range increased from 5.3% in 2012 to 5.7% in 2017. On the other hand, the share of the upper 20% of households decreased from 47.5% to 46.0% during that period.
3.         The Gini coefficient decreased from 0.414 to 0.400, indicating an improvement in the income distribution.
4.         In 2017, there were 2.0 income earners for an average household of size 3.4, same as in 2012 but for an average household of size 3.5. 
5.         Average monthly household consumption expenditure increased by 21.6% from Rs 23,710 in 2012 to Rs 28,820 in 2017.  The real increase, i.e. after adjusting for an inflation rate of 13.3% and decrease in household size (from 3.5 to 3.4), works out to 10.4%.
6.         The highest increase in household expenditure was registered in ‘Miscellaneous goods and services’. It rose by 49.5% from Rs 970 to Rs 1,450 per household per month.
7.         In 2017, ‘Food and non-alcoholic beverages’ constituted the largest share of household consumption expenditure (25%) followed by ‘Transport’ (15%), ‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ (11%) and ‘Alcoholic beverages and tobacco’ (11%).
8.   The proportion of households below the relative poverty line, set at half of median household income per adult equivalent, was estimated at 9.4% in 2017, same as for 2012.
9. However, the poverty situation in the country improved from 2012 to 2017. This is indicated through the use of a fixed threshold such as the relative poverty line of previous years, updated for inflation.
CPI weights
10.       The weight for the COICOP division ‘Food and non-alcoholic beverages’ registered a decrease from 273 to 248 largely due to a decrease in the group food (from 254 to 230).
11. The highest shift in the CPI weights was registered in the COICOP division of expenditure ‘Alcoholic beverages and tobacco’ from 96 in 2012 to 110 in 2017 mainly due to higher weight for beer from 20 to 30. It is to be noted that prices for that division increased by 42.4% during that period.
12. The weight for ‘Miscellaneous goods and services’ rose from 41 to 50 mainly due to the weight of medical insurance (8 in 2017 compared to “negligible” in 2012).
13. The weight for ‘Restaurants and hotels’ increased from 45 to 54 mainly due to an increase in the weights for purchase of prepared foods (from 24 to 28) and cakes and snacks (from 4 to 9).
April 2018