Nielsen has released the results of its Global Consumer Confidence Survey, conducted between March 23 and April 12, 2011. The survey polled over 28,000 consumers, in 51 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, West Asia, Africa and North America. The survey was based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only.
"India's consumer confidence has remained consistent over the last five quarters, driven by strong economic growth and an optimistic job market. If confidence levels among consumers have remained flat over the last quarter, it is largely due to global factors such as weaker equity markets, higher commodity prices and overall weaker global recovery, compounded by rising domestic inflation," says Justin Sargent, managing director - consumer, India, in an official communiqué.
The survey further revealed that when it comes to job prospects in the next twelve months, Indians continue to be the most optimistic, globally. Indians are also extremely optimistic about the state of their personal finances in the next twelve months; in fact, they top the global ranking for countries that are most optimistic about their personal finances. This overall optimism finds Indians open to spending a little more than they did in the past two quarters.
Of the Indians surveyed, 61 per cent believed that it was a good time to buy the things that they wanted, compared to 56 per cent in the previous quarter.
As a true savings-oriented economy, India ranks fourth, globally, for a country that puts its spare cash into savings. Indians list savings as top priority, according to the survey; sixty five per cent Indians intend to save spare cash after meeting their essential living expenses.
Nielsen finds that Indians are now spending their spare cash on new technology products, new clothes, holidays/vacations, out-of-home entertainment, home improvements and decorating. Globally, Indians rank number one amongst those who put their spare cash into buying new technology.
Tangentially, it was found that the biggest drop in the spare cash spending list this quarter is in investments in the stock market or in mutual funds. Overall, Indian consumers now seem eager to spend on themselves, their families and their homes, while keeping away from making volatile investments related to the stock market.
However, the study also showed that Indians have had to reduce household expenses in order to cope with alarmingly high inflation. Interestingly, on the global charts, Indians rank third on the list of countries that believe that they will emerge from the economic recession in the next twelve months.
Looking ahead, the issues Indians are concerned about include increasing food prices, work-life balance, rising fuel prices and job security.