Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s latest consumer confidence survey finds that more than half the respondents do not expect any improvement in their income, their employment prospects and general economic conditions in the next one year. Despite the government’s attempts to paint a bright picture of the economy, most people do not seem to be buying it.
According to the survey, only 48.2% believe economic conditions will improve twelve months ahead. That’s the lowest reading in four months. As high as 27.7% of those surveyed think that economic conditions will worsen.
Astonishingly, only 49.8% believe their incomes will be higher a year ahead, while 49.1% think their job prospects will improve. Indeed, almost a quarter of those surveyed think their employment prospects will worsen. The accompanying chart has the details.
What’s more, only 25.3% of respondents said their incomes had improved in the past year. Also, while 33.5% said their employment prospects had improved in the past one year, 40% said they had worsened. And while 34.6% said general economic conditions in the last year had improved, 42% said they had worsened.
The June reading of overall consumer confidence was, however, higher than the previous month, although the expectations for the year ahead were lower.
Given that the general elections are less than a year away, the survey is not good news for the government.
Moreover, the RBI’s consumer confidence survey is conducted in the six metropolitan cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi, and therefore, reflects conditions in these cities. It is possible that with rural distress and the blows to the informal sector, sentiment may very well be even worse in the rest of the country.