Findings of ACNielsen's six monthly Asia Pacific Consumer Confidence poll suggest that less than 50% of those polled believe the recovery from recession would occur by the end of 2003. Frank Martell, President, ACNielsen Asia Pacific states, "With an absense of consistent positive news, people's expectations for recovery are in a holding pattern". Indian Consumers are more optimistic, says the survey.
Indians, however, seem the most optimistic about a recovery within the next year compared to other countries in the region. None-the-less, hopes for a more immediate recovery have eroded significantly. "The prevalent cautious optimism appears to have made consumers revise their expectations downwards," explains Sarang Panchal, Executive Director, AC Nielsen India. Now only 35% in India believe that there will be recovery by the middle of 2003 down from 73% in the last round of the study conducted in July this year.
"Though less expectant of an immediate recovery, consumers have become less tight-fisted than before," Panchal said. According to the survey, Fewer respondents within various income groups have deferred purchases in comparison to the previous round, with the higher income groups exhibiting a greater disposition towards investment and purchase.
As expected, their economic outlook is also impacting consumers spending patterns. Items of discretionary expenditure such as luxury items, going out to nightclubs and pubs and vacations have suffered with consumers opting to spend less on them. Looking specifically at India, spend on goingout (to pubs and nightclubs) has come down by 54%, going to movies is down by 37%, while amount spent on holidaying is down by 47%. However, there has been a marginal increase of 3% in amount spent on essential household shopping.
Job security(39%) and terrorism(22%) appear to be a concern with more Indians while concerns over the probability of an impending war or a worsening economy seem to be an area of worry for fewer Indians than before.
ACNielsen's consumer confidence poll is based on an online syndicated survey of nearly 9,800 consumers. Fieldwork for the present survey was conducted from 20th November to 3rd December across 13 Asia pacific markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Sample for the survey is representative of people with internet access in the respective countries: In ndia the smaple size was 531.