Lodestar UM study, Econocurious, finds Indians the most optimistic

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media | February 23, 2010
The Econocurious study tracks consumers' attitudinal and behavioural response to changing economic conditions across the nine key economies -- India, China, Brazil, Russia (the BRIC countries) and the USA, Great Britain, Spain, Germany and Australia

The latest study by Lodestar UM, titled Econocurious, has some good news for Indians -- it hails their optimistic attitude towards the global economic situation.

Econocurious is a study on the latest economic mindset, purchase intentions and future outlook. It tracks consumers' attitudinal and behavioural response to changing economic conditions across nine economies: India, China, Brazil and Russia (the BRIC countries), and the USA, Britain, Spain, Germany and Australia.

The findings of the study reveal that 69 per cent of Indian consumers are sure that the global economic situation would improve in the next six months. Contrast this with the global mood, where only 32 per cent of population feels upbeat about the future. Globally, in economies including the USA, Germany and Spain, consumers believe that economic growth would remain at the same level, or even grow worse in the next six months.

The study underlines that the BRIC trio of Brazil, India and China, along with Spain, are hopeful of not just maintaining, but even improving their standard of living; in comparison to countries hit by recession, such as the USA and Britain.

According to Anamika Mehta, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal, the economic outlook for the countries covered as part of the study is also reflected in their future intentions. She says, "Investment in big-ticket purchases is seeing continued recovery, despite consumers' 'wait-and-see' mindset. Amongst the developed economies, the only real investment is around vacations; while in the BRIC countries, people plan to buy cars, remodel their homes as well as invest in the stock markets, apart from spending on holidays."

When it comes to India, the study reveals that Indians would rely on expert opinions or share information with friends for making purchase-related decisions. On the other hand, the Chinese would be driven via online, following brands on social networks for offers.

Others, such as Germans, are expected to spend more on groceries, drinks and fragrances; in the USA, on the other hand, the population, in an effort to get more value for their purchases, would eye bulk purchases or go for second-hand products. And Britain has exhibited a preference for barter communities or special deals.

The good deals bagged by people are undoubtedly driving a positive feel about purchases in countries such as the USA (59 per cent), Britain (61 per cent) and Australia (55 per cent). In comparison, the BRIC populace has shown signs of happiness and satisfaction while making purchases that are planned and useful in their daily lives.

Interestingly, when it comes to reducing spends on media and entertainment, the maximum cutbacks, globally, would be on going to movies and DVD purchases. The study reveals that the USA and Germany will witness lesser spending on magazines; whereas people in Britain will spend less on newspapers. Brazilians, Russians and Chinese will cut back on cable expenses. And India and Spain will witness reduced internet expenditure.

The preferred choice to spend money on is different across countries. The majority's preferred expenditure is on going on a holiday, followed by the ability to buy gifts for close family, such as spouse or children. The Chinese and the Spanish have expressed a preference for splurging on automobiles; while Brazilians like spending on electronics.

According to the study, at 66 per cent, India leads the list of countries making maximum savings in the coming few months; as compared to the global average for other countries, which stands at 39 per cent.

Econocurious' findings point out that one phenomenon common to all nine economies surveyed is the fact that young consumers, in the age-group of 18-34 years, are the most unwilling group to compromise on their lifestyle, even in times of economic downturn.

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