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New Delhi: Indian consumers cut spends on discretionary and non-discretionary items in May and showed a higher inclination toward savings, according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker released on Wednesday.

The findings of the 30th such tracker revealed that consumers are once inclined towards savings amidst the rising number of covid-19 cases.

The insights indicate about 18% decrease in both discretionary and non-discretionary spending by Indian consumers. This decrease suggests a change in consumer behaviour as they prepare themselves for possibilities of financial instability in the future, it said as part of the survey findings released on Wednesday.

Porus Doctor, partner and consumer industry leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, said that inflationary trends, along with rising fuel and commodity prices and a weak rupee, have driven the Indian consumer to become more circumspect and introspective, and focus on prioritising one’s own well-being and purpose compared with a year ago.

The overall results of the survey indicate no change in higher inflation sentiment from the previous survey. The young population surveyed (age group 18-34) expressed an increased concern around inflation, which has risen 5% from the earlier survey.

Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker is an online panel survey conducted monthly across 23 countries. Each set of survey targets 1,000 adults aged over 18 years of age.

Of those surveyed in India, 62% are seeking to drive personal change while 55% are trying to figure out new ways to earn more money. “This change in social perception has led to a change where 49% consumers are now prioritising their overall well-being and 45% are pursuing more purposeful goals in life," the survey’s India specific findings revealed.

Meanwhile, consumer perception towards travel has witnessed a fall in the proportion of people willing to fly or stay in hotels. This trend can especially be noticed amongst individuals travelling for business purposes, where the percentage declined by 3% since the last survey conducted by Deloitte.

“Interestingly, although a majority of respondents between 18 years and 54 years are willing to save for the future, consumers above 55 years are looking for new opportunities to enjoy life. The survey shows about 20% increase in money spent on leisure activities by this age group. Additionally, they are spending a major share of wallet on clothing and personal care; recreation, entertainment, and leisure travel," it added.

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