India’s Wedding Market Now $130 Billion

Touted as the largest wedding destination worldwide, at least 80 lakh to 1 crore weddings are happening in the country every year…reports Asian Lite News

Indian weddings have always been a grand affair and now, an Indian family is spending, on average, more than Rs 12 lakh (nearly $14,500) on ceremonies which is five times the GDP per capita ($2,900) and more than three times the average annual household income of Rs 4 lakh, a new report has revealed.

Touted as the largest wedding destination worldwide, at least 80 lakh to 1 crore weddings are happening in the country every year, according to global brokerage Jefferies.

In fiscal 2023-2024, the Indian wedding market reached a whopping $130 billion (around Rs 10 lakh crore), second only to the food and grocery sector in the overall $681 billion retail market.

The report said India’s wedding spending-to-GDP ratio is significantly higher than that of other countries.

“Weddings have a deep cultural significance in India and drive large consumption spending, often disproportionate to income levels,” according to the report.

Wedding-related spending, in fact, is sized at $130 billion, spread across a wide range of products and services including jewellery, apparel, event management, catering, entertainment, etc, the report mentioned.

According to Jefferies, India’s wedding market is nearly double the size of the market in the US ($70 billion), but still smaller than that of China ($170 billion). The spending contrast underscores the deep cultural significance placed on weddings, where lavish celebrations are often seen as a cultural and societal expectation, it noted.

Meanwhile, India’s gold demand rose to 136.6 tons in the January-March quarter which represents an 8 per cent increase over the same quarter of the previous year, according to figures released by the World Gold Council (WGC) on Tuesday.

Gold purchases have increased despite rising prices, reflecting higher incomes in a growing economy, according to market analysts.

Out of the total gold demand, the jewellery demand in India increased by 4 per cent to 95.5 tonne from 91.9 tonne. The total investment demand (in the form of bar, coin among others) grew 19 per cent to 41.1 tonne from 34.4 tonne.

India’s gold demand in value terms rose 20 per cent to Rs 75,470 crore during the quarter compared to the same period last year.

The increase in the demand was higher from investors who saw gold as a safe-haven asset amid rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Reserve Bank of India also stepped up buying of the precious metal which saw its gold reserves increasing by 19 tons in the January-March quarter this year, surpassing last year’s net purchases of 16 tons, the WGC said.

Demand for gold from India is likely to range between 700 and 800 metric tons in 2024, with the figure falling near the lower band if prices continue to increase, said Sachin Jain, CEO of WGC’s Indian operations.

Domestic prices of gold soared to a lifetime high of Rs 73,958 per 10 grams in April after steadily rising by more than 13 per cent in 2024. The increase comes on top of a 10 per cent rise in 2023.

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