In­dia Most Con­fi­dent Place for Con­sumers

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Mum­bai: In­dia re­mained the most con­fi­dent coun­try in terms of job prospects, per­sonal fi­nance and im­me­di­ate spend­ing in­ten­tions in the fourth quar­ter of 2016, when the gov­ern­ment in­val­i­dated high­de­nom­i­na­tion cur­rency notes, a sur­vey showed.

The coun­try’s con­sumer con­fi­dence score climbed to 136, up three points from the pre­vi­ous quar­ter and the high­est level in 10 years, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Nielsen Global Sur­vey of Con­sumer Con­fi­dence and Spend­ing In­ten­tions. The Philip­pines came sec­ond with a score of 132 and the US was third with 123.

Con­sumer con­fi­dence lev­els above and below a base­line of 100 in­di­cate de­grees of op­ti­mism and pes­simism, re­spec­tively, in the on­line sur­vey con­ducted by the New York­based re­search firm.

“The three-point in­crease in the con­fi­dence in­dex in the fourth quar­ter re­flects strong eco­nomic and com­mer­cial per­for­mance at the end of the third quar­ter and at the be­gin­ning of the fourth quar­ter, fur­ther ben­e­fited by the tim­ing of the fes­tive sea­son, when con­fi­dence typ­i­cally rises,” said Pra­sun Basu, pres­i­dent of Nielsen South Asia.

Dur­ing the sur­vey pe­riod, the In­dian gov­ern­ment had an­nounced the de­mon­eti­sa­tion of .₹ 500 and .₹ 1,000 notes, ac­count­ing for 86% of the cur­rency in cir­cu­la­tion by value.

“While this move cre­ated short-term con­straints for con­sumers, the long-term out­look is bullish — a sen­ti­ment clearly echoed in other Nielsen re­search and by a re­cently re­leased study by the Re­serve Bank of In­dia — thus strength­en­ing the over­all con­fi­dence lev­els for the next 12 months,” Basu said.

In­dia’s per­sonal fi­nance sen­ti­ment im­proved by one per­cent­age point to 85% and the job out­look went up three per­cent­age points to 84%. How­ever, 17% of the re­spon­dents in­di­cated that job se­cu­rity con­tin­ues to be their ‘big­gest con­cern’ fol­lowed by the state of the econ­omy for 16% and ter­ror­ism for 14%. As many as 70% of ur­ban In­di­ans in­di­cated that it’s a good time to buy things they want and need over the next 12 months. While 65% said sav­ings are the best way to utilise spare cash, 54% said they would pre­fer to spend on tech­nol­ogy and 53% chose spend­ing on hol­i­days and va­ca­tions. On house­hold ex­penses, 78% in­di­cated a change in spend­ing to save money, five points lower than the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. To con­trol spend­ing, 44% said they would cut down on gas and elec­tric­ity, 39% said they would spend less on new clothes and 33% would cut down on out-of-home en­ter­tain­ment.

Coun­try well-placed in terms of job prospects, per­sonal fi­nance, says Nielsen sur­vey

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