Demand slowdown 'overblown', buyers moving online: Centrum
Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) As concerns on sudbued consumption demand and a likely slowdown in the economy grips India Inc and the government, a report by brokerage firm Centrum says that the narrative of demand slowdown is "overblown" and there is a behavioural shift among consumers as they are moving towards online purchases.
"Despite weak consumer sentiment, aggregate revenue grew a healthy 9.0 per cent YoY (year-on-year) post a high base in Q1 (first quarter) FY19. We believe the demand deceleration story is overblown," it said.
"Our channel checks indicate consumer spends have not slowed. Note that most of companies reported rising revenues in modern trade and e-commerce channels, suggesting a structural shift in consumer buying behaviour."
As per the report, Asian Paints (APNT) and Dabur recorded strong growth in rural markets. In the backdrop of lower price increases, it said that their revenue growth was largely driven by volume -- APNT (15 per cent volume growth), Dabur (9.6 per cent), Hindustan Unilever (5 per cent), Bajaj Consumer Care (4.7 per cent), Colgate (4 per cent) and Britannia (3 per cent).
"Contrary to common belief of weak consumer sentiment, BRIT (Britannia), Bajaj Consumer and Dabur reported market share gains, while CLGT (Colgate) and HUVR (Hindustan Unilever) lost market share," it said.
The report further said that an improving macro situation, likely stimulus by the government and focus on capital spending could lift consumer sentiment. With a normal monsoon and robust incentives to uplift farm income and job creation, Centrum expects better consumption growth in rural India.
The commentary comes at a time when the consumer durables and FMCG sectors, along with the automobile industry, are in the grip of a phase of low demand over the last few months leading to concerns about the economy having entered a cycle of prolonged slowdown.