According to & #BANNER1 & # ACNielsen, the global consumer confidence index for 2006 stands at 98. In comparison, the Indian consumers' confidence index is 131, way above the global average. This is the third time that Indian consumers are leading in the study.
Indian consumers are followed by Norway and Denmark. The confidence index of consumers in these two Scandinavian countries stands at 130 and 127, respectively.
The ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence and Opinion Survey scales confidence levels, spending habits/intentions and current major concerns of consumers across the globe. The latest survey, conducted in late May/early June 2006, polled about 21,780 Internet users in 40 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific and North America to the Baltics.
The general reason for the high confidence of Indians is due to the highs in the Indian job market and the financial situation here.
Indians are currently optimistic about making purchases. Fifty-five per cent believe that it is a good time to buy the things they want in the next 12 months. "The Indian economy is not in a slowdown mood. There is a lot of optimism in the air. The reason for such a positive change is the presence of spare cash in the hands of the Indian youth," says Sarang Panchal, executive director, Customised Research, ACNielsen, South Asia.
Elsewhere, the confidence index of North American consumers stands at 107, which is the same as in the previous round of study, which happened in November 2005. Meanwhile, in comparison to the previous round, the confidence index of consumers in the Asia Pacific has dropped from 101 to 94. European consumers have managed to maintain their confidence level at 93.
In the Asia Pacific, the least confident consumers are South Korea (54), Japan (79) and Taiwan (80).
For Indian consumers, the economy is a major concern currently. Panchal says, "Rising oil prices are a major cause of concern for Indians."
Indian consumers have scored low on the health consciousness scale, whereas the level of concern about health is still top of the mind for consumers across the Asia Pacific.
Panchal explains, "Indian consumers are rapidly being exposed to better and advanced healthcare. This is probably the reason why health related concern has dwindled. Yet, Indians are more sensitive about matters concerning health and are willing to spend on the best possible service when it comes to healthcare related products. For marketers belonging to this category, quality should definitely be the primary focus to lure these new age consumers."
Europe has shown an increased concern for health related matters ever since the avian flu and the occasional mad-cow outbreaks. Europe has surpassed their North American and Asia Pacific counterparts with nearly four in 10 Europeans having cited health as one of their major concerns after the economy. The Asia Pacific follows at 36 per cent and North America at 34 per cent.
Indians are also aware of how best to use spare cash. Saving is a popular instrument here and mutual funds and share investments are favoured options here. In fact, the preference for equity and mutual funds exhibited by Indians is matched only by those in Hong Kong among all the countries studied, which underlines the spread of the equity culture in India.
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