Consumers hopeful, but hold the bubbly

If the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey is to be believed, in the last quarter of 2009, India was the second most confident market after Indonesia.

Sushmita Choudhury        Print Edition: February, 2010

Are we over the worst? If the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey is anything to go by, the majority of Indians believe so. In fact, in the last quarter of 2009, India was the second most confident market after Indonesia. Less than half the respondents felt that India is going through an economic recession, and 58 per cent of these said the country would be out of it in the next 12 months.

A lot of this confidence springs from a promising job outlook—83 per cent think that it will be favourable this year. But things are slightly gloomy where money is concerned. The number of Indians who are optimistic about the state of their personal finances has dipped by 3 per cent. This is affecting their willingness to spend. Says Vatsala Pant,director, client solutions, The Nielsen Company: "Indians are wary of spending at present. They'd rather hold on to their non-essential item purchases than repent if the situation becomes worse." In the previous survey, 51 per cent thought that it was an appropriate moment to make purchases, but now the number has fallen to 41 per cent. So the favourite mode of spare cash utilisation is savings (65 per cent), followed by investing in the stock market (40 per cent) and buying technology products (33 per cent).

In fact, according to a recent Accenture report titled 'Mobility Takes Centerstage', emergingmarket consumers spent more on technology than those in the mature markets in the past year. Spending was the highest in India, where 77 per cent spent more than $500 per person.

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