Private consumption is often considered the end goal of economic activity and economic and political success is to a high extent measured in terms of a country’s ability to increase private consumption, implicitly or explicitly as a proxy for its ability to fulfil its citizens’ consumption needs. In the richest countries of the world, this goal is particularly salient in times of recession, where stimulating private consumption usually captures the centre stage of the policy process.
In developing and emerging countries, the goal of increasing private consumption is more persistently salient. The government of the world’s most populous country, China, has recently declared that converting the country from an export- and investment-led to a consumption-led economic model is a key goal for the period 2011-15 (the 12th five-year plan).
On the other hand, private consumption is increasingly viewed as an important cause of environmental degradation and policy discussions on environmental sustainability increasingly turn to private consumption for solutions. A large and growing share of climate gases and other serious emissions is directly related to private consumption, and even more is indirectly related. Reflecting this, there is a large and increasing focus on the actions and responsibilities of private households in terms of contributing to solving climate and other environmental problems.
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|Last modified:||20 October 2015 4.02 p.m.|