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NEW DELHI: Consumer confidence among urban Indians fell 3.4 percentage points month-on-month in January, with consumers reporting a significant decline in their personal financial conditions, according to the monthly Primary Consumer Sentiment Index or PCSI released by Refinitiv-Ipsos.

PCSI is a monthly national survey of consumer attitudes on current and future state of local economies, personal finance situations, savings and confidence to make large investments.

The Index comprises four sub-indices: current conditions index; expectations index; investment index; and jobs index. Ipsos conducted an online survey between 24 December 2021 and 07 January 2022. A total of 500 adults from Ipsos' India online panel aged 16-64 years were interviewed online.

“The Refinitiv-Ipsos monthly Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI), among Urban Indians, does not present a rosy picture for January 2022 - the survey shows the consumer sentiment has nosedived by 3.4 percentage points, over the previous month," according to findings of the survey.

The investment sub-index plunged 5.4 percentage points, while the PCSI current personal financial conditions sub-index was down 5.2 percentage points. The economic expectations sub index, reported a dip of 1.8 percentage points, and the PCSI jobs sub-index declined 1.4 percentage points, over the previous month.

The drop can be linked to a significant surge in cases during the country’s ongoing wave of covid-19. A steep rise in cases has impacted mobility and stalled business recovery.

“Rising cases of the omicron variant have directly impacted the confidence levels of urban consumers, leading to the downbeat sentiment; also because of the restrictions and curfews we find confidence for investments for the future and personal finances for the day to day running of households being majorly hit. Even confidence for the economy and jobs have been impacted," said Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India.

Adarkar, however, said with state governments imposing restrictive curfews instead of a national lockdown may lessen the long-term adverse impact compared to the previous waves.

“Financial crunch can also be attributed to bust after the boom—holiday spends, year end to the new year first week. Targeted steps to stop mass transmissions will be the need of hour as opposed to all pervasive closures. We’ll have to watch and react accordingly," he added.

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