Home / Politics / News /  Ukraine conflict, inflation worry Indian households

NEW DELHI : With fears around the covid-pandemic waning, Indian households are now reporting growing concerns around the conflict in Ukraine, the state of the economy and unprecedented high inflation, according to Kantar’s Global Issues Barometer survey.

The study surveyed 800 people in India from a pool of 11,000 consumers globally. It was conducted across 19 countries, representing 68% of global gross domestic product.

The conflict in Ukraine remains the top concern for those surveyed in India, followed by economic worries and the cost-of-living crisis.

Asked to spontaneously share their top concerns, 37% of those surveyed in India mentioned the war, followed by 29% mentioning economic issues, as their top concerns. Climate and environmental issues emerged among the top three concerns. Meanwhile, for 27% of those surveyed, the pandemic is still an issue, while 17% of those surveyed cited inflation as a key concern.

However, two-thirds of those surveyed in India feel secure in their jobs and expect pay hikes that they said will match inflation. More consumers reported feeling security around employment compared to last year. Indians expect salaries that are higher than the rest of the world, according to the survey.

“The cost-of-living crisis is number two on people’s minds. Price increases in fuel, food and drink, and household bills have been noticed the most. Compared to the world, Indians feel the pinch of price increases on white goods more," according to survey by the marketing data and analytics company.

The current set of global events is affecting long-term plans as well as short-term behaviour of Indians, said Soumya Mohanty, managing director, South Asia, insights division, Kantar. Beyond making cutbacks on general expenditure, people are rationalizing their future savings and working harder, Mohanty said.

In fact, for 74% of Indians, the increasing cost of living is among the issues impacting their major life plans. Additionally, 29% Indians said they have started reducing the amount of money they save, higher than the global average. Kantar estimates that luxury goods, entertainment services, and holidays could bear the brunt as consumers rationalize household budgets. “Almost half of households (41%) are considering economizing subscriptions to entertainment subscriptions—one industry that did well during the pandemic. Longer-term, almost three-fourth of people say the current turmoil is impacting their big life plans; saving for big future life events (47%), children’s education (27%) and retirement plans (24%)," the survey found.

Meanwhile, covid-19 is no longer seen as a pressing issue, it said. “Things have moved on from covid, with some of the pessimism around the pandemic going down. There was a bit of worry about the future, about jobs—that kind of concern we see going up. Obviously, what has been the biggest change is inflation and the state of the economy. People are a lot more worried about that. This is much more about how households optimize their spending," said Deepender Rana, executive managing director, South Asia, insights division, Kantar.

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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