But confidence varies by income, city, and category
Indian consumers are sending mixed signals, according to the Shopper Barometer report by Kantar IMRB. Spending is up compared with a year ago for wealthier metro shoppers, but so is the number of less affluent middle class shoppers who say they are less confident about their financial situation.
The research, conducted during the first quarter of 2017, looked at shopper mood among the middle class in eight major cities: Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Pune. It revealed that consumer confidence and spending varied widely by income level and city, and these factors impacted categories unevenly.
- Rich feeling richer 44 percent of wealthier urban consumers felt better off financially, compared with only 29 percent of the less affluent.
- Mood drives spending 61 percent of urban shoppers increased spending compared with a year ago, and they primarily were wealthier members of the middle class.
- Varies by city Confidence and spending declined in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata, in part because the softening of startup business affected local economies dependent on the technology sector.
Some categories seemed immune to the more cautious consumer mood. More consumers planned to eat out or spend money on fashion or telecommunications, despite a rise in the consumer price index (CPI) in those categories. In contrast, people planned to spend less on household items, spas and personal grooming.
Changing consumer priorities are also expected to affect car sales, as only 15 percent of consumers said they are “very likely” to buy a four-wheel vehicle in the next couple of months, while 29 percent said they planned to travel on a holiday within India.
Consumer mood affects spending priorities
Consumers expressed less interest in buying cars and more in going on a holiday trip in India or spending on health and fitness.