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Inflation crisis on middle class

Consensus estimates peg wholesale inflation at 6% and consumer inflation at 9.6%, according to Reuters. Rising inflation has dented consumer spending.

A Nielsen Company survey on inflation assesses the impact of inflation on the middle class globally: 85% of those polled said rising costs affected their choice of grocery products and many said it affects spending on activities such as dining out, buying clothes, snacking, entertainment and holidaying.

The survey also found that income levels alone do not determine spending during inflationary times. It is also influenced by factors such as the number of persons per household, spending opportunities, aspirations and cultural diversity. The report measured spending flexibility in three buckets: those able to spend freely, those able to live comfortably and those who could meet only basic needs. The Middle East/Africa region reported the largest number of people earning less than $5,000 per year, but the most proportion saying they were spending freely.

The survey results are tabulated region-wise but some countries have been highlighted. In India, 44% of respondents, two percentage points more than the global average, said they were living comfortably. Indians are fighting inflation using tactics such as buying loose and unbranded cereals, going to discount or neighbourhood markets, taking advantage of discount sales and buying larger pack sizes.

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