RBI’s Consumer Confidence Survey shows positive sentiments ahead of LS polls

MUMBAI, Apr 6 : Ahead of the General Elections in the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Saturday released results of a series of surveys highlighting positive sentiments of households on general economic situation, employment prospects and inflation among many other economic parameters. In its bi-monthly “Consumer Confidence survey”, the RBI collected current perceptions (vis-?-vis a year ago) and one year ahead expectations of households on general economic situation, employment scenario, overall price situation, own income and spending across 19 major cities. Consumer confidence for the current period has been on a path of sustained recovery; respondents assessed improvement in all survey parameters; the current situation index (CSI) rose by 3.4 points to 98.5 ? its highest level since mid-2019. In all, the RBI released results of seven survey covering entire gamut of economy including Consumer Confidence Survey, Inflation Expectations of Households Survey, Survey of Manufacturing Sector and Bank Lending survey among others and in general concluding positive outlook during the next year and in the last quarter of January-March. Consumer confidence for the year ahead improved further on the back of higher optimism in all CCS parameters; higher optimism resulted in the future expectations index (FEI) rising further by 2.1 points to 125.2 ? also its highest level since mid-2019. Households’ sentiments on general economic situation and employment prospects recorded notable improvements for both the current period as well as the upcoming year; in synchrony, their outlook on discretionary spending improved. Respondents assessed better income situation compared to a year ago and expected further rise in income in the year ahead. The latest round of the survey was conducted during March 2-11, 2024, covering 6,083 respondents. Female respondents accounted for 50.8 per cent of this sample.  In the second “Households’ Inflation Expectations Survey: March ? 2024”, the RBI said Households’ inflation expectations for both three months and one year ahead moderated by 20 basis points (bps) each to 9.0 per cent and 9.8 per cent, respectively; their perception on current inflation, however, remained unchanged at 8.1 per cent. The share of households expecting overall prices and inflation to increase over the next three months and one year moderated for general prices as well as for most of the product groups, when compared to the previous survey round. (UNI)