Consumer confidence in emerging markets barring India improves

Consumer confidence in emerging markets barring India improves New York: The confidence among emerging market consumers has strengthened during last year, as 37 percent of respondents believe that their personal finances will improve over the next six months, however the mood has deteriorated in India, a Credit Suisse report said.

The relative and absolute growth in emerging market consumption over the last ten years has been very strong, suggesting a general upward trend in emerging market consumption and a distinctly downward trend in developed market consumption.

Of the eight countries included in the consumer survey, optimism on the financial outlook is strongest in Brazil, China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

The mood has continued to deteriorate in India and Russia. Only 28 percent of our Indian sample expects some improvement in financial conditions in the next six months compared with 36 percent in 2011 and 40 percent in 2010.

According to the Credit Suisse report, the relative out-performance of emerging market consumption is likely to continue over the next 12 months.

According to the survey, consumers are optimistic about the immediate outlook. Around 37 per cent of respondents see an improvement in their financial position in the next six months, while 9 percent see a deterioration.

GDP-weighted real growth in household consumer expenditure for emerging markets has averaged 5 percent over the last ten years compared with just over 2 percent for the developed markets.

The survey further noted that the higher income brackets are consistently more optimistic across all the countries. In contrast, the outlook presented by the low income groups is a different story.

In South Africa, India, Russia and Turkey, the outlook for the low income groups ranges from very poor to lacklustre.

Moreover, in many markets, the youngest end of the working-age population has achieved the highest income levels. This is a feature that was also common to China, Indonesia, Russia and Turkey.

In Brazil and India, however, the difference in earnings between the age groups was relatively flat, the survey said.

Generally, the young age earners are much more likely to spend incremental income on technology and branded consumer goods and are less likely to focus on insurance policies or healthcare expenditure.

But, over the long term, as these more affluent consumers mature, spending patterns are likely to shift more strongly toward the likes of healthcare, the report said.

PTI