Jan 14, 2009|
Indians the most confident
Indians are more upbeat than anyone else
Do you attach a significant importance to a survey that has a sample size of 26,000 people across 52 different markets? If your answer is yes then you have reasons to rejoice. The survey in question is the Global Consumer Confidence index, undertaken by the media firm Nielsen. And guess which country came out on top? It was India. A greater percentage of Indian consumers, greater than consumers from any other country, believe that the local economy is not going to be affected much by the economic slowdown and things will start looking up in the next twelve months.
Significant to add that the survey, which was for the second half of 2008, witnessed a decline in confidence in every 4 out of the 5 countries surveyed. And joining India at the top were other emerging market economies like Brazil, China and Russia.
Furthermore, every 3 out of 4 Indian consumers that participated in the survey believe that job prospects will continue to look upbeat over the next 12 months, the highest ratio once again amongst all the other countries. However, not all people seem to agree. Some economists are of the opinion that the worst is yet to come and the confidence will continue to decline in the near term. Well, only time will tell the direction where the pendulum swings next.
A prolonged recession for the US?
If the Americans are also getting a similar feeling as their Indian counterparts, then there is a strong reason as to why their belief is a tad misplaced, a lot more so than that of the Indians. Because unlike India, savings rate in the US is next to nothing and hence the only option left for the US government is to print money, which it is indeed doing by the truckloads. But some people worry that if the hugely swelled money supply combines with 'sooner than expected' inflation then this could lead to collapse in bond prices. This could push the economy potentially into a deeper recession, even shaking the belief that policymakers have in monetary as well as fiscal stimuli.
One man's eyesore is another man's relief
What was once a crowning glory has now turned into an eyesore. We are referring to JLR (Jaguar-Land Rover), the company that Tata Motors acquired with much fanfare last year but which is now making things doubly difficult for its parent. However, no other man would be feeling as relieved as Anand Mahindra, the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of India's leading utility vehicle manufacturer M&M, which was also in the race for the acquisition.
And he minced no words in stating the obvious when he was asked whether he was relieved at deciding against the acquisition. "We walked away from it because we found it unaffordable. I had not expected recession of this level in the world economy, but even otherwise, we felt it was unaffordable for the company. Are we happy we didn't go for it, yes we are."
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