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India slips in global consumer confidence survey

By Byravee Iyer in Mumbai
May 12, 2009 04:34 IST
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The economic slowdown has taken its toll on consumer confidence. India has fallen from the top to third in the latest round of the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey and now ranks behind Indonesia and Denmark. It is the largest bi-annual study of its kind and is carried out on more than 25,000 Internet users in 50 countries.

The survey appears in Monday's issue of The Strategist.

India's Consumer Confidence Index of 99 is down 15 from the last survey. This is the lowest India has scored in the last six rounds of the survey. The global index has fallen to 77 from 84 in the last survey which was done in October 2008.

No fewer than 49 of the 50 countries surveyed have seen a fall in consumer confidence. Taiwan is the only country to go against the grain--its consumer confidence is up three notches to 63. The elite club of triple-digit consumer confidence countries now has only two members--Indonesia (104) and Denmark (102). To add to the gloom, about 77 per cent of consumers surveyed by Nielsen globally said their economy was in recession, up from 63 per cent in the last survey.

In India, only 28 per cent of the respondents said their economy was not in recession. In other words, as many as 72 per cent could think India is in recession, though what the country is witnessing is a slowdown and not a recession. Of these, more than half (56 per cent) said India would come out of recession in the next 12 months.

Still, 56 per cent of the Indian respondents said in the survey that personal finances look good over the next 12 months. Eight per cent said they were excellent. But only 37 per cent said it would be a good time over the next 12 months to buy things they need. Just 3 per cent said it would be an excellent time to buy.

Indians were the second-most optimistic people about job prospects after Indonesians in the Asia-Pacific. As many as 41 per cent rated job prospects as good and another 6 per cent as excellent over the next 12 months. Still, job security is the biggest concern of Indians (29 per cent said biggest, 15 per cent said second-biggest). It is also the biggest concern in Asia-Pacific and the second-biggest in the world after the economy.

The survey showed that Indians, like people elsewhere in the world, are more likely to put their spare cash into savings now. However, Indians are more likely to invest in shares or mutual funds and pay their debts than most others in Asia-Pacific.

In the whole of Asia-Pacific, Indians emerged as the most concerned about terrorism in the survey. As many as 7 per cent called it their biggest conceran, while another nine per cent called it their second-biggest concern. The November 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai and the growing Taliban menace in Pakistan has clearly impacted their psyche.

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Byravee Iyer in Mumbai
Source: source

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