India's growth rate over the last two years has been a healthy 8.5 per cent (2003-04) and 6.9 per cent (2004-05) respectively.
This has led to Indian consumers, in general, feeling optimistic about economic conditions, as indicated by a consumer confidence survey conducted by MasterCard International in March '05.
Released on Wednesday in Mumbai, the survey was conducted across seven markets including India, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE and South Africa. Some 400 "banked individuals" - people who hold a bank account - in each market in the age group of 18-64 were surveyed.
Out of the five parameters used to gauge consumer confidence, namely, employment, economy, stock market, quality of life and regular income, Indian consumers were very positive about the last three factors, says the survey. The MasterIndex rating, which is the composite score arrived at after factoring different variables, places quality of life at 74.9, regular income at 80.5 and stock market at 80.1 for India.
Consumer confidence in the current period vis-à-vis preceding periods of the survey (September '04 and March '04) is higher for India, it says. From 63.5 in March '04, consumer confidence dipped to 58 in September '04 touching a high of 72 in March '05.
The overall sentiment across the seven markets is also on the rise touching 79.1 in March '05 to 69.8 in September '04 and 65.8 in March '04.
Among the other six countries surveyed, the picture seems to be positive for five of them including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt and South Africa, where the consumer confidence indexed by the survey is as high as 93.2, 94.6, 92.9, 60.7 and 83.5 respectively.
Lebanon, meanwhile, is the only 'negative' market with consumer confidence indexed at 44 for March '05.
"We see a correlation between consumer confidence and the propensity to spend," says Nitin Gupta, vice-president and general manager, MasterCard International, South Asia. "This would obviously translate into strategies that are relevant as well as in keeping with the prevailing consumer sentiment," he adds. © 2005 agencyfaqs!