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India leads global consumer confidence in Q3: Nielsen

Despite being two points down, India still led global consumer confidence in the September quarter, market research company Nielsen said when releasing its quarterly consumer confidence index today.

India topped the list with a score of 126 in the third quarter followed by Indonesia (125) and the Philippines (115), Nielsen said. This is the second straight quarter for India on the top, the insights and information company pointed out, after the country’s seven-point jump in the June quarter. Back then, India topped the list after five quarters with a score of 128.

In the latest survey, which is conducted online, over four in five (82%) urban Indian respondents indicated the highest levels of optimism globally on job prospects in the next twelve months, followed by Indonesia (80%) and China (per cent), Nielsen said.

“In India, overall, the confidence index continues to hold near its previouslevels with the euphoria around the recently elected government settling down,” said Piyush Mathur, president, Nielsen India Region. “The consumer in India is in the middle of a festival season, and so spending will likely be higher than previous quarters due to gifting and entertaining. Besides traditional offline retailers, e-commerce is gaining traction for the urban affluent shoppers in India and online retailers have been spurring the market with discounts to fuel this movement. The actual impact of this on consumer spending might be more evident towards the end of the year,” he said.

Nielsen’s current survey does indicate that people are willing to spend more on discretionary products, with three in five online respondents saying this (as in, the festival season) was a good time to buy things they wanted and needed.

When it came to investing spare cash, three in five (61%) urban respondents in India said they would put their money into savings, while 44% of those polled were looking to invest in new technology. Nearly a third (28%) indicated they would invest in a retirement fund, while over a third preferred mutual funds (per cent).

While consumer spending had improved, 78% of Indian respondents, Nielsen said, had changed their spending habits in the third quarter, with the top four avenues for saving being spending less on gas and electricity (49%), new clothes (43%) and cutting down on telephone expenses (38%) and holidays and vacations (37%).

In the June quarter, 75% of Indian respondents had changed their spending habits, with the top three avenues for saving being spending less on new clothes (46%), gas and electricity (44%) and holidays and vacations (35%).

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