NEW DELHI: Companies in India are currently displaying much greater levels of confidence than their customers, new research has found.

The National Council for Applied Economic Research, a think tank, and MasterCard Worldwide, the financial services firm, recently conducted a poll to gauge corporate and public perceptions in India.

Overall, the confidence index among businesses stood at 156.8 points for the present quarter, compared with the record low of 81.6 points posted during the same period last year.

This marked the fourth successive quarterly improvement in this area, and reflected rising positivity regarding both corporations' individual prospects and the broader fiscal climate.

Consumers were much more pessimistic, with the barometer of popular sentiment coming in at 68.8 points in the latest study, measured against the figure of 82.1 points registered 12 months ago.

Optimism reached a peak of 96.8 points in Chennai, falling to 77.9 points in Mumbai, 68 points in Bangalore and just 22.3 points in New Delhi.

Respondents below the age of 30 years old generally delivered the most favourable appraisal of India's economic outlook, while over-45 year olds were typically more negative.

In identifying the sectors in which they were likely to increase their expenditure, 67% of shoppers chose entertainment and out-of-home dining, with apparel and accessories following in second place.

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff