Consumer mood is mixed in India

7 December 2012

NEW DELHI: Consumer confidence levels are rising in India, but remain negative overall, according to a survey.

BluFin, the information provider, and TNS, the insights group, polled 4,000 people across 18 cities, and found the regular barometer of popular sentiment stood at 41.6 points for November.

Alongside marking an improvement of 3.4 points from the previous month and a second successive gain on this metric, this was also the biggest such leap on record since October 2011.

Participants in western regions yielded the greatest uptick after expanding by 6.5 points to 44.2 points. Elsewhere, the North saw growth of 3.6 points to 35.5 points.

BluFin further reported that November's figures were the best cumulative returns in six months. However, as ratings topping 50 points reflect a broadly positive outlook, the collective mood is still gloomy.

"This month's increase ... is noteworthy as it indicates Indian consumers' upbeat response to the ongoing festive season," said Rashid Bilimoria, BluFin's chief executive.

"The rising ... could be an early sign of the consumer sector eventually bottoming out and making way for a recovery," said Bilimoria. "However, the current positive trend will be validated provided this upward pattern persists in the coming months."

When discussing their future expectations, the panel delivered 38.7 points, a monthly improvement of 3.6 points, albeit also meaning this reading is stuck in deeply unfavourable territory.

The assessment covering the employment market similarly hardened, jumping by 1.2 points to 43.4 points, although this was measured against the recent low which was witnessed in October.

The sub-index regarding shoppers' willingness to spend came in at 26.9 points, an expansion of 1.8 points compared with the last survey. South India logged the highest ratings here, on 34.5 points.

Perhaps the strongest drag on consumer confidence, however, is inflation, where totals dropped by 1.4 points to 23.2 points.

Data sourced from BluFin; additional content by Warc staff