The websites for Flipkart, bottom, and Myntra.com are displayed on an Apple Inc. iPad and iPhone 5c. (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Indian Consumer Sentiment Gets Top Ranking But People Shun Big-Ticket Purchases: Survey

India maintained the top ranking in consumer sentiment among emerging economies. Yet, its citizens aren’t optimistic about buying a car, house or an expensive home appliance.

The Emerging Consumer Survey 2019 by Credit Suisse found that the proportion of Indians who don’t feel it’s the right time to make big-ticket purchases has nearly doubled to 32 percent in 2018 over last year.

That may have to do with the slowdown in the automobile industry, which has been facing sluggish sales since the festive season last year. Major automobile companies, including Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., have announced production cuts due to rising inventory and subdued demand. The survey said volume growth in the passenger vehicle segment, which was 8 percent in the previous fiscal, has slumped to 2 percent in the past six months.

The survey—conducted in emerging markets, including India, China, Brazil, Mexico and Russia—struck an optimistic note about e-commerce in the country, saying that young consumers (median age of 27) are more likely to shop online compared with other age groups.

It said that global and Indian companies are increasingly reaching out to the young tech-savyy consumers. That may have to do with greater penetration of smartphones and internet access—partly spurred by cheaper data plans introduced by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

Amazon India, according to the study, was the most preferred online shopping platform, upstaging Walmart-owned Flipkart.