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Salary cut? Buy a home!

The pall of gloom over the state of the world’s financial condition may be lifting, but Indians are still wary about their financial health. Virendra Verma tells us more.

Virendra Verma | Print Edition: August 23, 2009

The pall of gloom over the state of the world’s financial condition may be lifting, but Indians are still wary about their financial health. So, when brokerage and investment banking firm CLSA conducted a survey to find out the consumption and investment behaviour of the Indian middle class, they came across a mixture of optimism and worry.

Those who plan to buy a home
12% in 2007
27% in 2009
Those who owned a car
19% in 2007
35% in 2009

The report titled “Mr & Mrs India” compared consumer behaviour in 2007 and 2009 (till just before the Lok Sabha elections) to see if people had cut costs or continued to spend on big-ticket items.

While 40 per cent of the respondents said they had faced job losses or pay cuts, an impressive 65 per cent said they expected employment prospects to improve soon.

Surprisingly compared to 2007, when the economy was booming, more Indians want to buy a car, a house or own a credit card in 2009. Twentyseven per cent of the respondents said they planned to buy a home in the next 12 months, compared to only 12 per cent in 2007 and 35 per cent said they had bought a car, up from 19 per cent in 2007. But in a sign that cash flow may have become an issue, 42 per cent respondents said they now had a credit card, as against a mere 20 per cent who did so in 2007.

The study surveyed 248 households from 51 cities and towns across 16 key states.

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