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India tops consumer confidence index

By Meenakshi Radhakrishnan-Swami in Mumbai
July 17, 2007 02:35 IST
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Consumer confidence is softening across the world but Indians remain the most upbeat.

That is the finding of the ACNielsen Consumer Confidence and Opinions Survey for the first half of 2007, the results of which have been made available exclusively to Business Standard.

While all three indices (India's, Asia Pacific's and the global index) have dropped two points, with 135 points, India is in the lead of both the 47-nation global survey (97 points) and the 14-country Asia Pacific study (96). The country's 137 score in the October 2006 round of the survey was an all-time high.

Conducted in April 2007, the survey covered over 26,000 people, including more than 500 people from India. Indians remain confident of the job market and personal finance: 94 per cent are optimistic about employment prospects, compared with the regional and global averages of 50 and 52 per cent, respectively.

Indian consumers' perceptions of the state of their personal finances is also encouraging: 90 per cent rate it as excellent or good (region: 54 per cent).

The survey also polled consumers on their major concerns. Compared with the last round, there is a sharp rise in Indians' concern over the economy, with 46 per cent citing it as a major worry.

But fears of terrorism appear to have abated: in the last round, India was the most worried in the world about terrorism, with 31 per cent mentioning it as a major concern.

There is a 15 percentage point drop this time and India is not on the top 10 list of worriers anymore. Across Asia, 41 per cent are concerned about the economy, compared with 37 per cent worried about health and 30 per cent about job security, lower than the global averages.

The survey also studies how spare cash is used after covering necessary living expenses.

Significantly, India moved down two places to become No 3 among those who invest in stocks and mutual funds even though more respondents (53 per cent) chose this option compared with the last round. Other popular choices remain savings accounts, holidays and new clothes.

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Meenakshi Radhakrishnan-Swami in Mumbai
Source: source

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