- The Genesis India Consumer Indicator (GICI) improved slightly to 54.87 in March from 54.8 in February. Consumer sentiment now stands at the highest level since October 2017 and continues to run significantly above the levels seen in the past three months.
- There was a mixed picture among the five components which comprise the GICI. Respondents downgraded their views on both their current and future financial situation. There was also a further significant deterioration in views about the current business situation.
- These negatives were offset by increased optimism about the future business situation as well as a second consecutive monthly gain in buying conditions for durable goods. The latter increased to 66.15 in March from 62.7 in February, the second consecutive monthly gain and should help to underpin growth in consumer durables sales.
- Consumers’ satisfaction with the prices of essential commodities has improved markedly in recent months and pushed higher to 43.27 in March 2018. This is in-line with recent CPI inflation data which hit a 4-month low in February.
- The positive momentum in the Automobile sector waned slightly in March with the Auto sentiment indicator falling to a three month low. At 58.01, though, it remains positive and above the 50 breakeven level.
- Consumers’ views on the current state of business, employment and infrastructure conditions all declined in March, maintaining their negative trend. Consumers, though, are optimistic that there will be an improvement over the coming three months.
Chief Economist of GMMR, Philip Uglow, said “While Indian consumer sentiment remained broadly unchanged in March it has increased markedly in the latest quarter and shows consumers feeling relatively optimistic.”
“This increased level of consumer confidence mirrors the recent pick-up in broader economic activity and
Further supports the view that the next move in interest rates from the RBI is likely to be upwards.”