New Delhi: People are spending less this Diwali as consumer sentiments is down, said a survey by Assocham. Small traders association CAIT on Wednesday said that it fears that sales this Diwali seasoncould be down by as much as 50 per cent against last year.
“The slowdown in commercial markets of the country continues even today, the day of Dhanteras which is considered as most auspicious day to buy gold or silver jewellery, utensils and kitchenware and appliances on this day. There is gloomy atmosphere in sales outlets of these commodities today having a very low turn out of people all over the country,” said CAIT.
It said that “perhaps it is most disappointed Dhanteras for the traders in past more than 10 years.” “It is feared that if situation goes like this in remaining two days of Diwali, this slowdown may reach to 50 per cent in comparison to last year,” it said.
CAIT said that it is estimated that today the sale of gold and silver went down to 30-35 per cent in comparison to last year. “This itself speaks the continued slowdown of the market,” it added.
CAIT said that traders fear that wedding season which begins from October 31 doesn’t meet the same fate.
It asked the Reserve Bank to direct the banks to encourage lending on easy terms with lower rate of interest.
After demonetisation, the banks have surplus funds and are placed better to lend money which may further infuse cash liquidity life to the markets, it noted.
Meanwhile, Assocham said that its survey reveals that the overall consumer confidence has decreased from last year. “This is reflected in the decrease in spending across all age brackets and income levels,” said the industry chamber.
“The economic slowdown seems to have hit where it hurts. This negative shift in the consumer sentiment has clearly made its way into their spending habits,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general, Assocham.
The festive season extends from October to December, comprising Navratri, Durga Puja and Diwali celebrations and culminating in Christmas and the New Year.