Coronavirus Pandemic

India: People storing cash at home for emergencies because of Covid crisis

Web report/Mumbai
Filed on May 19, 2021

Consumer sentiment results in slowdown in bank deposits

The ongoing Covid crisis has seen Indian urban and rural consumers piling up cash at home for unforeseen emergencies and deferring all major investments in consumer goods or even savings.

This has also resulted in a slowdown in bank deposits, especially with mounting healthcare costs. Currency with the public has, according to the Economic Times, grown by 16% to an all-time high of Rs4 trillion. Cash storage is high across the consumption spectrum, it said.

“The risk perception is significantly higher and normally if I have six months’ cash at hand, I have enhanced it by five times this year,” Ravi Bhatia, president, Jato Dynamics, was quoted in the report. Another executive said the sentiment among rural consumers is to conserve cash as uncertainty continued to loom large.

Indian consumers are continuing to focus on healthcare, which has seen a 46 per cent increase in spending, according to another expert quoted by the paper. Seventy per cent of consumers of a survey believed expenditure on healthcare will help them lead a healthier lifestyle.

A consumer-goods executive said this was not “a doomsday scenario,” just a two-three month setback after which things will be back on track.

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