Column: Shades of grey
And wherever you choose to look, consumers are becoming cautious in their spends, if not penny pinching as yet. Car sales growth has moderated sharply to single digits in April-June after a heady 30% growth just three months ago. Sales growth has moderated across categories—from cars and property to consumer expendables, skin creams, electronics and apparel.
According to Residex, the National Housing Bank’s residential housing price index, for the three months ending March, home prices have come down in seven of the 15 tracked cities, with IT city Bangalore correcting the most, down almost a fifth compared to October-December 2010. Others that have witnessed a fall are Kochi, Faridabad, Hyderabad, Surat, Bhopal and Jaipur. Only three cities—Pune, Lucknow and Delhi—have seen a marginal uptick, with price stabilising in the rest five.
According to market researcher IMRB International data, sales growth in consumer expendables like soaps and detergents for the first four months of 2011 moderated to 5%, from 8% for the corresponding period of last year, with growth much more tardy in personal care items like skin creams and
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