Indian shoppers at market in Ahmedabad ahead of Diwali festival in 2018. Photo: AFP

Against the backdrop of economic slowdown, the Indian consumer is cutting back on spending but is expected to loosen his purse strings to some extent during Diwali festival, which this year falls in the last week of October.

This was reported by LocalCircles’ annual Mood of the Consumer survey, which covered around 22,000 consumers across the country.

When asked about whether and how their spending pattern on discretionary items such as shopping, meals, and movies changed in the August-September period, 32% said they have been spending less and 14% said they haven’t been spending at all. Around 41% said their spending has been the same as before while 11% said they’ve been spending more.

These numbers show that one-third of the consumers have cut their discretionary spending and 14% are not spending at all, wanting to hold on to the cash in case things continue to worsen.

However, over 40% of the respondents said they would spend up to 10,000 rupees (US$140) in the next 60 days during the festive season, while 31% said they would spend between 10,000 and 50,000 rupees ($700), and only 4% said they would spend more than 50,000 rupees.

The survey also indicates that a sizable number of consumers this year may be shopping on e-commerce sites, as they expect better bargains online, than at retail stores. Both Flipkart and Amazon run week-long festivals during Diwali and those have gained popularity over the years.

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