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Indian consumer outlook improves as Covid cases fall, vaccination picks up: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 21, 2021

Higher consumer spends and a decline in anxiety levels are expected to boost economic revival, says the Deloitte report

Indian consumers are showing positive spending intent and a brighter outlook towards the future, according to a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (DTTILLP).

DTTILLP has launched the latest 30-day analysis of its Global State of the Consumer Tracker, indicating a consumption revival in India. The study is based on data reference of August 31, 2021.

'Decreasing number of Covid-19 cases as well as an aggressive vaccination drive have brought in a new wave of confidence amongst Indian consumers," the report said

The overall consumer anxiety in India has dropped to 34 per cent, whereas heightened levels of consumer anxiety are seen in US, higher levels of consumer spends and a decline in anxiety levels will boost India’s economic revival albeit with a touch Australia and UK.

However, a marginal decrease in financial concerns was noted, with 57 per cent respondents being concerned about delaying large purchases in the current wave.

Porus Doctor, Partner and Consumer Industry leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP said, “The easing of COVID-19 related restrictions across the country, along with an accelerated vaccination drive has fuelled positive consumer sentiments. Our latest survey insights indicate of caution.”

According to the findings, savings are up by 4 per cent (50 per cent in the current wave, compared with 46 per cent in the previous wave). This could be in preparation of future purchases and seasonal deals during the festive season, the report said.

With the upcoming festive season, Indian consumers are showing a willingness to increase spending on more discretionary items.

Consumers are seen actively spending on 12 per cent alcohol, 36 per cent cable TV, 36 per cent clothing / footwear, 33 per cent electronics, 25 per cent furnishings and 22 per cent on restaurants.

The findings further indicated that only 30 per cent of the respondents were concerned about physically interacting with a salesperson, showing increasing customer confidence.

Return to office

Indians are also slowly returning to the office.

"With robust vaccination initiatives by the government, Indians have gained confidence and are slowly returning to the workplace. However, employees are expected to be in office on a need-basis and with utmost precaution, keeping strong safety protocols in place," the report said.

84 per cent of consumers surveyed said they feel safe to return to the workplace. Separately, 60 per cent of consumers have shown a willingness to attend in-person events.

Mobility

As per the report, 59 per cent consumers feel safe taking a flight. Furthermore, 30 per cent of consumers also showed a willingness to use public transport.

International leisure travel is also aining momentum

Reduced anxiety, coupled with several countries lifting travel restrictions for India, the Indian consumer is all set for international travel," the report further added.

57 per cent Indians surveyed are planning international travel for leisure in the next three months.

"With several initiatives to allow the movement of passengers between nations such as air bubbles, vaccine passports, travel corridors and now Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), search inquiries for travel to international destinations, have been on the rise, providing a glimmer of hope for the beleaguered travel and hospitality sector," it added.

Furthermore, 57 per cent of Indian respondents right now feel safe staying in a hotel. Additionally, 19 per cent of Indian respondents intend to spend on travel during the current wave, compared with 11 per cent in the previous wave.

With offices and other daily activities gradually resuming, Indian respondents are seen to have reduced anxiety on mobility, though 70 per cent respondents plan to limit the use of public transportation in the current wave, which is a slight dip when compared with 73 per cent in the previous wave, as per the report.

Additionally, 67 per cent of Indian respondents plan to limit their use of ride hailing services over the next three months as compared with 70 per cent in the previous wave.

However, despite increased confidence, concerns about physical well-being still prevail, with 76 per cent of Indian consumers concerned about their physical well-being. 79 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about the health of their family.

Separately, Indian consumers are also more focused on becoming socially conscious shoppers. 68 per cent respondents would like more locally sourced items and 74 per cent purchased from brands that responded well to the crisis.

Published on September 21, 2021

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