New Delhi: For the first time since December last year, more Indian consumers now feel they are worse off than a year ago while they are hopeful that their situation will improve a year from now.

According to the latest, July, round of Consumer Confidence Survey released by the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday, while 37.4% respondents said they are better off now than a year ago, 38.4% respondents said they are worse off. Thus, the net response is a negative 1%. Only in December 2018 the net response was a negative 6.4%.

Similarly, the survey showed 59.4% consumers expect their situation to improve a year from now while 24.6% consumers feel their situation will deteriorate. Thus, the net response was a positive 34.8%. This was the lowest since November 2018, when a net 22.4% saw their situation better off a year ahead.

The RBI survey was conducted in 13 major cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram. It obtained 5,351 responses on households’ perceptions and expectations on the general economic situation, the employment scenario, the overall price situation and their own income and spending.

When it comes to their current perception compared to the situation a year ago, the sentiment is negative with signs of deterioration compared to the last round of survey in three out of five sub-indices such as economic situation, employment and price level. While sentiment is positive in case of “spending" with signs of improvement compared to the last round, in case of “income", the sentiment is still positive but with signs of deterioration compared to the last round of survey.

On consumer expectations one year ahead from now, the sentiment remains negative with signs of deterioration compared to the last round only in case of the price level. For all other indicators such as economic situation, employment, income and spending, the sentiment remains positive with signs of deterioration compared to the last round.