India leads global confidence index for 6th straight quarter
For the sixth quarter in a row, India continued to lead the global confidence index in anticipation of improvement in the economy through reforms and stimulus announced by the Central government, says a report. According to global information and insights provider Nielsen, in the first quarter of 2015, India’s consumer confidence score rose to 130 followed by Indonesia (123) and Philippines (115).
While, the consumer confidence in urban India has increased by 9 points from <g data-gr-id="29">first</g> quarter in 2014 (121), 44 per cent of respondents polled <g data-gr-id="28">feel</g> that India is still in “economic recession”. The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index said that over four in five (83 <g data-gr-id="35">per cent</g>) urban Indian respondents indicated the highest level of optimism globally on job prospects in the next 12 months compared with 74 per cent in first quarter in 2014.
“The urban Indian has seen ups and downs in consumer sentiment over the last few years, in this round it is a positive sentiment in anticipation of improvement through reforms and stimulus announced by the new government. These initial signs of optimism reflect anticipation of economic recovery that are yet to manifest when you look at fast-moving consumer goods and auto sectors in particular over the last few quarters,” Nielsen India Region President Piyush Mathur said in a statement.
As per the survey, “Over three in five (65 <g data-gr-id="37">per cent</g>) online respondents polled indicated this is a good time to buy things they want and need, 11 per cent rise from corresponding quarter last quarter (53 <g data-gr-id="38">per cent</g> in fourth quarter of 2014). “When it comes to investing spare cash, 64 <g data-gr-id="39">per cent</g> indicated it is a good time to put spare cash into <g data-gr-id="41">savings,</g> while 49 <g data-gr-id="40">per cent</g> of respondents polled purchasing new technology products.” It said 79 per cent respondents have changed their spending habits to save on expenses.
“The top three avenues this quarter are saving on gas and electricity (49 per cent), spending less on new clothes (45 per cent), and cutting down on holidays and short breaks (35 <g data-gr-id="32">per cent</g>),” it added. Eighty per cent urban Indian respondents indicated that the state of personal finances was good or excellent in the first quarter of 2015, four percentage points up from the same time last year (76 <g data-gr-id="33">per cent</g> in first quarter 2015).
However, top concerns remain job security (22 <g data-gr-id="24">per cent</g>), sustaining a work-life balance (11 <g data-gr-id="25">per cent</g>), followed by <g data-gr-id="21">state</g> of the economy (9 <g data-gr-id="26">per cent</g>). The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries.
Consortium may fund 101-inland waterways plan
A consortium of leading financial institutions both domestic and overseas is being conceived to part finance around 101 inland waterways to facilitate faster and economic cargo movement across India, Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Amitabh Verma said on Thursday. “The IWAI has appointed a full-time consultant, who happens to be a former head of a leading Indian banking institution and also engaged services of a senior consultant of International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank that are currently working out a proposal for creation of such a consortium amidst their other assigned functions,” Verma said.