Money & Banking

Urban middle class upbeat about next 12 months: HSBC survey

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on April 08, 2019

According to the survey, 80 per cent of the respondents are optimistic about the economy for the next 12 months   -  PTI

Notwithstanding concerns about a slowdown, a new survey by HSBC has found a majority of the Indian urban middle class to be positive about the next 12 months, including their future income and spends. The survey also threw up some interesting consumption trends.

“Recent comments by some consumer companies have suggested that there will be some slowdown in the consumer sector in the coming quarter. Our survey results suggest that urban consumers are upbeat about the next 12 months, and the relative slowdown could be temporary and may not last for the entire year 2019,” said the survey, India: Anatomy of the Consumer.

As part of the exercise, it surveyed 1,000 members of the urban middle class living in major cities who have an annual household income above ₹7 lakh. They were asked 50 questions about their consumption habits.

Concerns over slowdown have emanated due to factors such as rural distress, lukewarm urban demand, and liquidity issues in the trade channel, which has led to destocking and the base effect from last year, HSBC said, adding that this is probably affecting the lower end of the consumer market.

“Given that this is an election year, there is a focus on boosting rural and lower middle-class incomes, a theme we believe will continue after the election,” it further noted.

The survey found that 80 per cent of the respondents are optimistic about the economy for the next 12 months, while 45 per cent are very optimistic. Similarly, 41 per cent expect their income to increase by more than 10 per cent, and another 39 per cent expect an increase of at least 5 per cent over the next 12 months.

Interestingly, the survey also threw up some insights into consumer trends . For instance, with food delivery apps now available, 77 per cent of the respondents believe they have increased the number of food orders over the last two years, with 44 per cent having food home delivered at least once a week.

“Pizza is the most popular dish ordered for home delivery, beating even Indian cuisine. Chinese food comes in third,” it further noted.

There is also a growing appetite for online grocery shopping in major cities; 75 per cent prefer to buy a significant proportion of their groceries from large, modern supermarkets.

The majority of the respondents said they are highly likely to consider buying a natural personal care product, while over 85 per cent of the respondents, who don’t own a car, aspire to buy one, irrespective of improving public transportation.

Published on April 08, 2019

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