New Delhi: Maintaining the expensive lifestyles in metros has turned out to be a herculean task for the residents. An Assocham survey on Sunday said that household saving rate of an average employee has come down by 45 per cent in last six years due to an exorbitant increase in prices of essential commodities, fuel and education.

A majority of the 5,000 employees who participated in the survey, said that they were falling behind financially and their standard of living had deteriorated.

In the last six years, the salary of common man has gone up by 30 per cent but the discretionary spending has shrunk by 35 per cent, it said.

"In an average salary structure of Rs 40,000 per month, the amount available for discretionary spending is not more than Rs 17,000 as average employee shells out over Rs 6,000-Rs 8,000 on housing loan or rent, Rs 5,000 loan on cars or two wheelers, Rs 7,000-10,000 on education cost and FMCG," it said.

The survey also said that high inflation is putting lots of pressure on companies to give higher salary hikes.

About 70 per cent of the respondents said that the salary hike is not in sync with the cost of living. "Right from vegetables to petrol prices to house rent, everything has gone up so much and savings are also reduced to half," it said.

Headline inflation in March, as per the wholesale price index (WPI), surged to 8.98 per cent — way above the comfort zone of 5-6 per cent.