'48% of Indian households expect economy to worsen in 2014'
New Delhi: Nearly half of Indian households expect the economy to worsen this year and more than three-fourths fear that prices of groceries, fuel and other household items will go up in next 12 months, a report says.
According to Principal Retirement Advisors (India)'s first financial well being index, that aims to measure the financial well being of Indian households/workers, 48 percent of the households expect the economy to worsen in 2014.
Despite wholesale price inflation falling to five-month low of 6.16 percent in December, around 77 percent respondents feel that the prices of groceries, fuel and other household items would go up in next one year.
The study was conducted along with its research partner - Nielsen Company in the last quarter of 2013.
Respondents feel that increase in prices for food and beverages and transportation are likely to affect household budgets seriously and 78 percent are concerned about rise in home loan interest rates in the next one year.
"Indian households are maintaining a cautious outlook as they approach 2014," Principal Financial Group Country Head - India Rajan Ghotgalkar said.
Overall however, respondents feel they are in control of their financial situation and are making good progress towards their financial goals.
"...It is encouraging to see that a majority of them feel that they are in control of their financial situation and are making decent progress towards achieving their financial goals," Ghotgalkar said.
The research was conducted in 11 cities with a total sample size of 1,664 respondents. The respondents were in the age group of 25 to 60 years with an annual household income of more than Rs 5 lakh.
Some of the top concern areas for the economy in the next one year include -- fuel prices, food prices, rising inflation and unemployment, the report said.
Buying a house/property and children expenses (education and marriage) are the key big ticket expenses expected in 2014, it added.
The Well-Being Index is an initiative of the Principal Financial Group and it is currently in its 12th year running in the US. The group launched the Principal Financial Well Being Index for India this year.