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Business News/ Economy / Rising inflation, layoffs top concerns for Indians, reveals Kantar survey
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Rising inflation, layoffs top concerns for Indians, reveals Kantar survey

Inflation has been a persistent issue, affecting consumer demand for packaged goods, especially among middle and lower market tiers

Food inflation has remained high, a key concern for the central government which wants to keep food prices down ahead of the general elections next year. (Image: Pixabay)Premium
Food inflation has remained high, a key concern for the central government which wants to keep food prices down ahead of the general elections next year. (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi: Urban Indians are increasingly concerned about rising inflation and job security, including fears of layoffs, as per the Kantar India Union Budget Survey 2024, released Wednesday.

The interim Budget for fiscal  year 2024-25 (FY25) will be presented on 1 February.

The survey highlighted that 57% of Indians are worried about rising inflation, a significant increase from 27% in 2023. Additionally, concerns about job security are also on the rise, with one in every three Indians anxious about potential layoffs. Globally, issues like recession, economic slowdown (48%), and multi-national conflicts (45%) are also causing worry. Despite these concerns, 57% of Indians remain optimistic about India's economic growth outpacing other economies in 2024.

“Overall, Indians expect the union government to play the role of a protectionist and shield the country from these issues, with 57% believing that India will continue to grow faster than most economies in 2024," Kantar said in a release.

Deepender Rana, executive managing director of Kantar's South Asia Insights Division, said that with 2024 being an election year, the government is expected to be responsive to public sentiment.  

“Indians continue to be largely positive about the macroeconomic performance of the country and belief in the India growth story is quite strong…Most expect the government to play twin roles, a protector by taking stringent measures against inflation and a benefactor by giving a middle-class friendly budget with relief in income taxes," Rana said.

Inflation has been a persistent issue, affecting consumer demand for packaged goods, especially among middle and lower market tiers.

Kantar's survey involved 2,500 consumers aged 21-55 from 16 major Indian cities, covering a mix of salaried, self-employed, business owners, and both mass and affluent classes. It aimed to gauge consumer sentiments and expectations from the Union Budget.

Interestingly, 70% of urban Indians surveyed were satisfied with the 2023 budget, feeling it had a positive impact on their households. While expectations from a pre-election budget are generally moderate, there is hope for policy changes, particularly in income tax structures, to enhance disposable income, Kantar said.

Key expectations include an increase in the basic income tax exemption limit and raising the standard deduction from 50,000 to 1,00,000. Businessmen and the self-employed are looking for adjustments in the highest tax slab threshold from the current 1.5 million, or a reduction in the top tax rate of 30% for incomes above this figure. 

Additionally, there is a widespread expectation for an increase in deduction limits under Section 80 for medical insurance premiums. Also, 70% of consumers hope for a larger tax rebate on investments under section 80C (PPF, Tax Saving Mutual Funds/ELSS, National Saving Certificate).

Reflecting economic growth expectations and changing consumer sentiments, over 50% of consumers anticipate increased spending on discretionary items (58%) and high-value purchases (51%) compared to last year.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 24 Jan 2024, 05:04 PM IST
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