Indian shoppers in anxious mood

18 April 2012

NEW DELHI: Shoppers in India are concerned by rising prices and their own financial circumstances, trends limiting the willingness to make purchases, a study has found.

BluFin, the financial publisher, and TNS, the research firm, polled 4,000 urban adults, and reported that the consumer confidence index (CCI) stood at 39.9 points in March, where a score of over 50 points indicated a positive mood.

However, this did mark an improvement from the 39.3 points logged in February 2012 and 38.9 points registered in January. Figures had earlier reached a recent low in December 2011, on 35.8 points.

When assessing their current personal situation, respondents recorded a rating of 45.7 points, down by 0.6% month on month and by 2% year on year, according to the analysis.

More favourably, the reading of future expectations had increased by 2.7% from February and by 14.1% across the last six months, albeit to a somewhat modest 37.6 points.

Popular views relating to the employment market remained the most robust of the indices monitored on 47.2 points, a sentiment which has been largely stable since the end of last year.

Elsewhere, inflation continues to be a major point of anxiety, with the survey panel generating just 23.5 points in this area.

The propensity to spend among shoppers is also muted, on 26.9 points, although this does constitute a 30.8% expansion measured against six months ago.

Returns here climbed to 30 points for the south of the country, compared with 27.3 points in the north, 26.5 points in the west and a nadir of 23.6 points in the east.

Rashid Bilimoria, CEO of BluFin, said: "The Indian urban consumer is clearly pessimistic. While the CCI and the sub-indices have been trending upward in February and March 2012, the consumer is still very concerned about inflation and future prices."

Within the broader confidence results, Mangalore, in the state of Karnataka, delivered the best average ratings for the last six months, on 52.6 points, ahead of Hydrabad on 47.3 points and Delhi on 45 points.

By contrast, Jaipur scored a total of 30.4 points, with Guwahati on 31 points and Ludhiana on 31.5 points, all significantly below the national average.

Data sourced from BluFin; additional content by Warc staff