Mumbai: India led the global Consumer Confidence Index in the quarter ended 31 December, followed by followed by Indonesia and the Philippines, market researcher Nielsen has found through an online survey.
Consumer confidence in urban India rose to a score of 129 in the December quarter, a three-point increase over the preceding three months, and a 14 point increase from the year-earlier period.
In the latest online survey, conducted between 10-28 November, over four in five (82%) urban Indian respondents indicated the highest level of optimism globally on job prospects in the next 12 months, followed by Indonesia (73%) and the Philippines (73%). In the same quarter a year ago, 70% were optimistic about their job prospects.
“The urban online consumer in India ended the year far more optimistically as compared to last year, and even the preceding quarter and ends on an encouraging note,” said Piyush Mathur, president, Nielsen India region. “The increased consumer sentiment is also aided by lower inflation rates and the positive economic environment and development initiatives led by the new government that have been instrumental in driving the India growth story.
The increase in confidence is seen across sectors, according to Mathur, with the packaged consumer goods sector poised to grow in double digits in 2015.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.
The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as every region’s consumer confidence score improved compared with the previous quarter, Nielsen said.
Over three in five (61%) online respondents in India indicated this is a good time to buy things they want and need, a 2 percentage point rise from the preceding quarter. From the same period last year, good time to buy things has gone up by 12 percentage points.
When it comes to investing spare cash, 62% indicated it is a good time. Half (50%) of the respondents polled are purchasing new technology products, up 11% from the year-ago quarter. The purchase intent for new clothes by urban online respondents in the country has increased by seven percentage points to 44% last quarter from 37% a year ago. “There is a stark increase in the sentiment amongst urban affluent consumers from last quarter last year, to the same time period this year.
If we focus on 2014, we notice a steady uptick in discretionary spending buoyed by the lower inflation,” said Mathur. “The consumer, however, continues to be cautious and is looking to close the year on a balanced note.”
As many as 78% urban Indian respondents indicated that their state of personal finances was good or excellent in the fourth quarter of 2014, up from 71% in the fourth quarter of 2013. The top concerns of the respondents were job security (21%) and sustaining a work-life balance (12%), followed by state of the economy (10%).