Mumbai: Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are not optimistic about the immediate future, global uncertainties have affected the Asia-Pacific consumer—for the first time since 2012. Although the nation remains optimistic, consumer confidence in India has shown some decline. High volatility, falling stock markets, and little improvement in employment prospects are the key reasons for the deteriorating confidence, according to the Consumer Confidence survey.
The biggest decline in optimism levels was seen in Sri Lanka, followed by Singapore and Taiwan. Even Hong Kong has slipped from optimistic to neutral with a decline of 16.8 percentage points to 44.4 points, according to the survey.
India is the third-most optimistic country, following Myanmar and Vietnam, at 90.2 points in the second half of calendar year 2015, said the survey.
Meanwhile, even as Indian consumers remain optimistic, they are cautious about their spends as they remain uncertain about the future. Sales at major consumer packaged goods companies like Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd, Gillette India Ltd and Dabur India Ltd grew at their slowest in five years in the December quarter, though the companies spent a lot more on advertising and promotions, passing on the benefits of cheaper input costs to consumers.
For retailers like Shoppers Stop Ltd and Titan Co. Ltd, the December quarter was much better on account of late festive season and early onset of end-of-season sales. However, the September quarter was one of the worst in recent memory. Sales growth in the September quarter for Pidilite Industries Ltd, Asian Paints Ltd and Shoppers Stop Ltd was at its lowest when compared to the year-ago quarter, in over two years. For watch and jewellery maker Titan, sales growth declined over 25% in the September quarter over the year-ago period, its steepest in five years.
As such men are more optimistic then women about the immediate future in India. Also people below the age of 30 are more optimistic than those above that age.
Among the four metros, Mumbai is the least optimistic at 79.2, followed by Chennai at 83.4, while Bengaluru is the most optimistic city in India at 98.7, followed by Delhi at 93.4 points.
Source : LiveMint