Indian consumers were the most confident in the world in terms of job prospects, personal finances and concerns in the first quarter of 2016 with their confidence index touching a nine-year high during the period, according to a study by global performance management company, Nielsen.
The Consumer Confidence Index score for India increased three index points in the first quarter to a score of 134, the highest for the country since 2007 and comes after three consecutive quarters at 131, Nielsen said in a statement.
However, despite the improvement in overall consumer sentiment, more than half of urban India (53 per cent) still feel that the country is in an economic recession at the moment, Nielsen said adding “this is 3 per cent more than what it was in the previous quarter”.
As per the study, India was followed by the Philippines with a score of 119 and Indonesia with 117 points although it was a mixed bag among the world’s largest economies.
While the score jumped 10 points to 110 in the US, China (105), Germany and UK (97) and Japan (73) showed quarter-on-quarter decline.
“Overall, global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter and below the optimism baseline score of 100, edging up one index point to 98. The score reflected mixed confidence levels in every region,” Nielsen said.
All three confidence indicators — job prospects, personal finances and concerns — increased from the previous quarter in India with job sentiment, personal finances and immediate spending intentions at consistently high levels.
In the latest online survey, fielded March 1–23, 2016, 83 per cent of urban Indian respondents indicated the highest level of optimism globally on job prospects – up by three index points since fourth quarter of 2015.
Similarly, there was optimism abound when it came to the state of personal finances with 85 per cent respondents stating the situation to be good or excellent (82 per cent in October-December of 2015), the study said.
Nielsen India Region Managing Director Roosevelt D’Souza said in the days following the Budget announcements about the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, sustained and inclusive growth, an improvement in various macroeconomic indicators was evident.
“The government seems to be on its way to achieving its objectives of low inflation, low interest rates and high GDP growth—a scenario optimal for improved consumer spending,” he added.
The Nielsen Global Survey polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 63 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America.