RBI survey: Indians are not buying tall stories about the economy and jobs

consumers don’t think the economy is doing well or enough jobs are there. But they are hopeful of improvement after a year. The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) September round of the Consumer Confidence Survey — reflecting households’ perceptions and expectations on the general economic situation the employment scenario, the overall price situation and their *own income and spending* — showed the consumers are pessimistic about the current situation. *Consumer Confidence Index slipped* to 94.8 points, down from 98.3 in the previous June 2018 round of the survey. However, one-year-ahead expectations rose to 121.1 points from 119.8 points in the June 2018 round. The current situation index waned in the September 2018 round reflecting *worsening of consumers’ perception* on the general economic situation and the employment scenario. However, there is a *marginal uptick* in the future expectations index on the back of optimistic sentiment on future income and the evolving price situation. Responses on the general economic situation largely tracked those on the employment situation with the outlook on employment for the year ahead dipping below expectations in the previous round. While the majority of the respondents remained highly pessimistic about the price situation, there was a slight improvement in expectations one year ahead. Opinion was almost equally divided on the direction of change in income in the last one year, but the majority felt that income would increase in the next year. The survey portrays reduced *optimism on spending by consumers* particularly in respect of non-essential items.The survey was conducted in 13 major cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram — and obtained 5,364 responses on various issues.

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