Unemployment is a big issue for most, but more so among the younger respondents and those living in rural areas, according to a new consumer sentiment survey by Sambodhi Panels and Development Intelligence Unit.
Well over one in three respondents who were younger had no confidence in the government being able to tackle this issue in the near future, it said.
Unemployment was the major issue for nearly 35% of the respondents, while 25% said retail food prices were a key issue for them. Surprisingly, the least number of respondents were perturbed about the country’s stagnant economic growth, possibly because macroeconomic concepts were not a top-of-the-mind issue for the general public. Corruption was also not an issue that was cited by most, according to the survey.
Regarding confidence in the government’s ability to tackle these issues, it would seem that while across most issues, respondents were highly or somewhat confident that the government would tackle them over the next few years, the exception was unemployment, which was the most important issue of all.
Given that 2021 was a really tough year in terms of Covid-related disruptions, close to half of the earners confirmed that there has been some sort of economic recovery. However, the recovery was higher in urban areas than in rural.
About 61.8% % of respondents said it was a good time to buy major household items like new furniture, a refrigerator, a new TV, and similar items.
India is a land of savers and even during a bad year, nearly two-thirds had managed to systematically save some money. As expected, this was more of an urban phenomenon than rural, but given the size of the rural population, even 55% prevalence translates to a huge number.
However, the differences becomes stark when it comes to the respondents’ incomes, with less than one-fifth of the low-income groups hoping that they can save more than last year. This is the only category where the proportion of respondents who expect to save more is lower than those who expect to save less, thus reiterating the fact that the economic recovery has perhaps bypassed this huge segment of the population, it said.
Overall, however, the bulk of Indian owners felt that their current savings investments are only somewhat adequate to meet any upcoming social obligations in the family.
When it came to meeting regular monthly household expenses, over 40% could confirm that the situation today was better than what it was a year ago. The difference between urban and rural areas was that while half of the former could report positively on the improvement in their ability to meet expenses, this dropped down to 35% in rural. The survey sample size was 15,500.