Understanding the Consumer Confidence Landscape

Understanding the Consumer Confidence Landscape


On the backdrop of the november festive season, a survey conducted by the Reserve Bank of India into the consumer sentiment landscape, encapsulates the perspectives of 6,082 participants from 19 major cities, focusing on the general economic climate, employment dynamics, price trends, and individual income and expenditures. The survey served as a compass gauging the pulse of the urban consumers.


GS-03 (Economy)

Key Highlights of the issue:

General Economic Situation:

  • Positive Trends: 33.1% of respondents perceived an improvement in the general economic situation compared to the preceding year, marking the highest for any November since 2019.
  • Diminished Pessimism: Pessimism regarding the economy showcased a decreasing trend, with only 44.4% stating a deterioration in economic conditions—a historic low for any November since 2017.

Employment Outlook:

  • Optimistic Indicators: The survey uncovered that 32.3% acknowledged an enhancement in job opportunities in November 2023, the highest for this month since 2019.
  • Ebbing Pessimism: Pessimism regarding employment dwindled, with merely 44.7% expressing a decline in employment levels compared to the previous year—the lowest for any November since 2017.

Price Levels of Commodities:

  • Inflationary Concerns: A substantial 91.3% of respondents signaled an uptick in commodity prices compared to the previous year, a prevailing trend persisting for 17 consecutive survey months.
  • Moderation in Figures: While the figure was lower than November 2022 and 2021, the overarching concern about escalating prices persists.

Income Dynamics:

  • Optimism in Income: A significant 27% of respondents reported an improvement in their income levels during the survey period, marking the highest since July 2019 and a November high since 2019.
  • Easing Pessimism: Pessimism regarding income levels demonstrated a decline, with only 22.7% stating a deterioration—a nadir for any November post-2018.

Spending Patterns:

  • Consistent Highs: November 2023 witnessed 74.8% of respondents acknowledging an increase in their spending levels compared to the previous year, maintaining a consistent trend observed since the past year.
  • Stable Consumer Sentiment: This marks the second consecutive November where the share of respondents reporting elevated spending levels persisted above the 70% mark.

Overall Consumer Sentiment:

  • Diverging Trends: Pessimism regarding the general economic situation, employment opportunities, and income levels exhibited a descending trajectory, indicative of an overall positive sentiment shift.
  • Income Positivity: A higher share of respondents (27%) articulated an improvement in income levels, highlighting an optimistic outlook.
  • Inflationary Concerns: Despite the prevailing optimism, a substantial number of respondents continue to express concerns about elevated commodity prices compared to the previous year.


As urban consumers stand on the brink of festive celebrations, the consumer confidence landscape paints a nuanced picture. While the specter of inflation looms, positive indicators in income, employment, and spending levels infuse a sense of optimism.