MUMBAI: Noting that the successive waves of the pandemic have severely dented consumer confidence that hit an all-time low of 48.5 in May 2021 at the peak of the second wave, an RBI bulletin released on Monday said even now the sentiment is yet to return to the pre-pandemic levels.
Among the seven large economies compared with the US, Britain, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa, which also bore the brunt of the pandemic like us, India was the worst hit, especially after the second wave that had seen the maximum number of deaths, the RBI says in the bulletin, titled ‘Impact of Covid19 pandemic on consumer confidence’.
Most countries have seen a major slump in confidence when the pandemic first hit their shores, and then gradually started to rise, though it is yet to return to pre-pandemic levels in most countries, it said.
The central bank added that the rising vaccination levels may help speed up recovery but the repeated bouts of the pandemic are expected to have an impact on consumer confidence for the longer term, especially with the associated uncertainty regarding business and employment situations.
But, consumer expectations about the future have been relatively optimistic, despite being dented in successive rounds, on the back of the ongoing vaccination drive.
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