Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS)

Falling consumer confidence in March 2020 on account of sliding economic conditions.

Note: Published bi-monthly by the RBI. Updated till March 2020 (published on April 3, 2020).

Consumer confidence survey was published quarterly by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before March 2016.

Recent Data Trend

According to the March, 2020 round of consumer confidence survey (CCS), the consumer confidence has remained broadly close to the all-time low as seen in the pervious survey round of CCS. The worsening of current situation index (CSI) at 85.6 in March largely depicts that consumers are wary of the general economic conditions prevailing in the economy. Even the future expectations index (FEI) continued to remain in the pessimistic zone or unchanged at 115.2 in March 2020 compared to January round of CCS.

Sentiments on the employment scenario, general economic conditions and households' income remained pessimistic. A relatively small proportion of respondents (25.2%) indicated employment scenario to have improved currently, and even their expectations for the year ahead remained unchanged.

Household's perception of the current economic conditions deteriorated with close to 52.3% of the respondents stating the prevailing economic situations to have worsened. In the previous round as well the respondents felt the same. Even regarding the future economic conditions (one year ahead), the people seem to be turning pessimistic.

On income, the net perception continues to remain negative as 24.9% felt that their current income has deteriorated as against 22.7% who felt their income improved. In terms of future expectations (one year period) 52% respondents felt the conditions can improve, similar to the repsonse recieved in the pervious round.

Overall, the consumers have been pessimistic about the current general economic conditions and the expectations for brighter future in terms of better employment situation and income levels remained unchanged. The coming rounds of consumer sentiment surveys are likely to remain in the pessimistic zone considering the possible impact from the lockdown due to coronavirus.

Brief Overview

Consumer confidence survey (CCS) has been conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on a quarterly basis since June 2010 and on a bi-monthly basis since March 2016. The survey obtains information on urban consumer sentiments and captures qualitative responses on questions pertaining to economic conditions, household circumstances, income, spending, prices, etc. For each round of the survey, approx 5400 respondents (aged 21 years and above) are canvassed in six metropolitan cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. The responses are mostly in two parts- current situation as compared to a year ago and expectations a year ahead. Expectations on prices and consumer spending are in three forms: increased, remained the same and decreased or positive, neutral and negative.

To combine the consumer confidence responses on various parameters, two sub-indices are calculated by the RBI: Current Situation Index (CSI) that reflects the current situation as compared to one year ago and Future Expectation Index (FEI) that reflects expectations one year ahead. CSI and FEI are compiled on the basis of net responses on the economic situation, income, spending, employment and the price level for the current period and a year ahead, respectively. CSI/FEI = 100 + Average of Net Responses of the above parameters. CSI and FEI are compiled on the basis of net responses on the economic situation, income, spending, employment and the price level for the current period and a year ahead, respectively. CSI/FEI = 100 + Average of Net Responses of the above parameters. The CSI and the FEI can take values between 0 and 200. An index value over 100 implies that consumers are optimistic about the current/future situation and vice versa.

The responses to the main variables of the survey, viz, income, spending, employment, etc are recorded in terms of percentage. Percentage responses on income and spending are the respondents' own view, i.e, personal income and personal spending.

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Next Release Date:  June 6th, 2020