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NEW DELHI: After facing an intense second wave of covid-19 infections, consumers in India are willing to increase their discretionary spends in anticipation of upcoming festivities, according to findings of a consumer tracker survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India.

In its latest 30-day global consumer survey concluded on 30 June, Deloitte’s research reported a 6% decline in overall anxiety levels among Indians to 39%.

“Our latest survey insights indicate that the Indian consumer is showing signs of reduced anxiety and is open to looking at increasing discretionary spends. Only 20% of Indian consumers are concerned about returning to their workplace; but 65% are concerned about losing their jobs," Porus Doctor, partner and consumer industry leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, said.

A devastating second wave of the pandemic spread across India in April and May, significantly dampening consumer sentiment during the June quarter. With state-wide lockdowns, consumer mobility remained restricted. Meanwhile, consumers also reported saving more money for medical exigencies.

However, with a fast progressing vaccination drive and a fall in fresh cases, consumption is rebounding. Mobility indicators have seen an improvement as well. Fears of an imminent third wave remain thought.

Several indicators reported a positive trend. "Travel sentiments are showing positive trends; those consumers in the age group above 35 have shown interest to travel for leisure in the next three months and 58% of consumers have indicated they are comfortable staying at a hotel," Doctor said.

Meanwhile, 87% of those surveyed said they were willing to spend more as they prioritise convenience over price; 61% indicated that they now feel safe visiting stores to shop; over 50% of those surveyed reported willingness to attend in-person events.

Other indicators linked to mobility have also been showing an uptick . For instance, 70% of those surveyed feel safe going to a restaurant. Close to 70% said they felt safe staying in a hotel and 71% felt safe taking a flight.

Willingness to move out is higher in those over 55 years of age when compared to those aged 18-55.

However, a majority of respondents continue to be concerned about their physical wellbeing, with 79% of Indian consumers reporting the same.

The second wave has also shifted attitudes towards savings.

Deloitte’s consumer tracker indicated that young adults were saving more (47%) as compared with people above 55 years of age (43%). That’s because work-from-home has helped employees save significantly on transport and rent.

Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker surveyed consumers aged over 18 years.

It is fielded in 18 countries with 1,000 respondents per country, per wave. It covers countries including India, Chile, China, Mexico, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Japan, France, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.

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