India has once again emerged as the most optimistic market in terms of consumer confidence, but there is still some amount of cautiousness when it comes to spending spare cash, says a Nielsen survey.
This is the ninth consecutive quarter wherein India has retained the tag of the world's most optimistic market with an increase of one point in consumer confidence to 123.
"India once again topped the global index indicating a high level of confidence amongst consumers, who are optimistic yet cautious," Nielsen India Managing Director Justin Sargent said.
"This optimism is reflected in Indian consumers' increased confidence in job prospects, which is a good sign for the economy. However, job security is still a cause for concern and consumers are still cautious when it comes to spending spare cash," he added.
India is followed by Saudi Arabia at 119. Indonesia and the Philippines shared the third most optimistic nation tag with an index point of 118.
Meanwhile, Hungary was the most pessimistic market with 32 index points, followed by Greece (37) and Portugal (39).
According to the latest global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, confidence in the first quarter of this calendar year increased in 38 out of 56 markets, fell in 16 markets and remained flat in two.
"Households around the globe experienced brighter personal situations in terms of jobs and personal finances last quarter, especially in the US and Asia, which was reflected with improved consumer confidence and higher discretionary spending," Venkatesh Bala, Chief Economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen, said.
While global economic conditions are more stable than the last quarter of 2011, underlying economic conditions are still "fragile and fluid" in many parts of the world, and could affect consumer confidence for the coming quarter, Nielsen added.
The survey suggests that while consumers are neither as confident nor comfortable with the economy as they would like to be, they are expressing a pent-up demand to spend as they did prior to the recession, Bala added.
"Such a desire for psychological release through the various forms of discretionary consumption reported in the Nielsen survey, all of which act as stress-reliever ia understandable after three years of relentless belt-tightening and uncertainty," he said.
The survey tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 Internet consumers in 56 countries.