More youth fearing income losses due to COVID-19: Survey

Mumbai, May 8 (PTI) As the country enters the final week of the third phase of the COVID-19-induced lockdown, public sentiment is getting into negative territories with over 50 per cent of those polled having a negative outlook on income.

What is more, younger and those in the middle-income consumers are more worried about their income post-COVID, loan repayments and spending, says an international survey.

According to a survey by international consultancy Boston Consulting Group, as much as 85 per cent of those in the poll are worried about servicing loans post-moratorium, while more than 40 per cent are planning to cut down spending in the next six months as they fear about their jobs and income.

The survey, carried out during the third phase of lockdown (May 4-17) among 1,300 consumers in metros and Tier 1 & 2 cities, is part of a global COVID-19 consumer sentiment research.

“Despite lockdown relaxations, concerns across health, economic situation and daily lifestyle continue to remain high as consumers have more pessimistic about their future incomes, spends, and loan repayments,” says the survey.

These concerns are much higher among younger consumers, SEC-B households and small business owners.

Even among these categories, essentials, at-home entertainment, health and insurance continue to show greater resiliency, while travel, out-of-home entertainment, apparel, large ticket purchases emerge as categories with significant reductions. One-third of them are also thinking of trading down.

The lockdown has also boosted digital payments/ media consumption, etc with many trying out digital payments for the first time.

While online newspaper reading has added 20 per cent, additional new users, there has been a 40 per cent growth in new users shopping for staples online, and a 20 per cent addition to digital wallets.

Despite the fear of loss of jobs and the resultant financial burden, many consumers think lifting the restrictions on movements is good to bring the pandemic under control.

“More than 50 per cent consumers believe the availability of vaccine and containment of cases are the strongest indicators that the virus is in control, while only around 24 per cent consider this as part of lifting the lockdown,” says the survey.

Around 60 per cent of the polled consumers believe that local retail and local transport are likely to return to normalcy first. But a similar number of consumers also believe that it will take at least a few months more for normal barrel back. PTI BEN MR