Indian consumers most confident globally in first quarter: Nielsen

Indian-consumers New Delhi, (IANS) Indian consumers were the most confident in the world in the first quarter of 2016 as their confidence index touched a nine-year high during this period, American performance management company Nielsen said.

Nielsen said this finding was based on its latest ‘Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions’.

The consumer confidence index score for India increased three points in the quarter to 134, the highest for it since 2007 and comes after three consecutive quarters at 131, Nielsen said in a statement released here on Tuesday.

In Asia, India was followed by the Philippines with a score of 119 and Indonesia with 117.

The Nielsen consumer confidence index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions, while all three confidence indicators increased from the previous quarter in India

However, more than half of urban India (53 percent) still feel that the economy is in recession at the moment, Nielsen said adding “this is 3 percent more than what it was in the previous quarter”.

In the survey, carried out in March, 83 percent of urban Indian respondents indicated the highest level of optimism globally on job prospects — up by three index points since the fourth quarter of 2015.

On the state of personal finances, 85 percent Indian respondents described the situation as good or excellent.

Nielsen India managing director Roosevelt D’Souza said the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, sustained and inclusive growth was being reflected in an improvement in various macroeconomic indicators.

“The government seems to be on its way to achieving its objectives of low inflation, low interest rates and high Gross Domestic Product growth — a scenario optimal for improved consumer spending,” he added.

Nielsen surveyed more than 30,000 online consumers in 63 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

“Overall, global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter and below the optimism baseline score of 100, edging up one index point to 98. The score reflected mixed confidence levels in every region,” Nielsen said.

While the US score jumped 10 points to 110, China (105), Germany and UK (97) and Japan (73) showed declines over the previous quarter.

According to the survey, consumer confidence increased in 33 percent of measured markets (20 of 61 markets), compared to the 43 percent showing an increase in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“There is no one cause for these shifts in confidence; the reasons are market-specific. In many oil-exporting countries, confidence is down relative to a year ago as oil prices fell, even though oil prices have increased slightly in early 2016,” said Louise Keely, senior vice president, Nielsen.

“At the same time, in some European markets such as Spain and Portugal, confidence is up markedly from a year ago, as unemployment rates have fallen and consumer price inflation has not yet picked up,” she added.

Medaram Jathara

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