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India’s aspirations bounce back to pre-Covid levels despite higher inflation: Survey

According to a BankBazaar survey, the national Aspiration Index has bounced back to its highest since 2018 at 87.3. The index is sharply up from 84.4 in 2021 and an all-time low of 79.9 in 2020.

The BankBazaar Aspiration Index 2022 showed a significant rise in people's expenses and credit dependence. (Representative image: Pixabay)

The aspirations of Indians have bounced back to pre-Covid levels despite higher inflation this year. However, more people are relying on credit to realise their aspirations, according to BankBazaar Aspiration Index 2022.

According to the study that covered 1675 salaried people between 22 and 45 from 6 metro cities and over 18 non-metros across the country, the national Aspiration Index has bounced back to its highest since 2018 at 87.3. The index is sharply up from 84.4 in 2021 and an all-time low of 79.9 in 2020.

The BankBazaar study tracks 17 goals under five aspirations: health, wealth, fame, relationship and personal growth. It also looked at people’s importance, confidence and readiness for them.

East India (88.2) is the most aspirational region of the country on the aspiration index, followed by the west (88.0), north (86.7) and south (86.5), according to the study. Additionally, women (88.7) continue to be ahead of men (85.7) when it comes to aspirations, leading by 3 whole points. “Women of all ages are more aspirational than men,” the survey said.

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It also showed a significant rise in people’s expenses and credit dependence, both for needs and aspirations, in the last one year, while savings have either stagnated or fallen in the same time period.

“…the reliance on credit to meet monthly expenses has increased for 62 per cent respondents, and savings have plateaued or gone down for almost 80 per cent,” it said.

In terms of inflation, households across the country present a tough picture. Expenses have gone up for 77 per cent respondents in the last one year. Wealth Warriors (aged between 35-45 years), with bigger liabilities and higher responsibilities, feel the most heat. The metros (79 per cent) felt the pinch more than the non-metro (72 per cent) cities.

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According to the BankBazaar survey, mental wellbeing is the top goal by sample size as well as aspiration. The five most popular life goals highlight what Indians wanted the most: be happy and healthy (49.2 per cent), see the world (44.1 per cent), be their own bosses (34.1 per cent), save for their children’s education (37.9 per cent), and splurge a little on the finer things of life (31.3 per cent).

However, the most aspirational goals are different. While mental health and saving and investing for children are among the top five, what else matters is living close to the family, eating well, and having a home of one’s own.

Commenting on the survey, Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar.com, explains this divergence: “After more than two and half years of emotional and financial distress, people are keen to reclaim their earlier lives and fulfil aspirations that were pushed back due to Covid. However, the realities of the post-Covid world, and the rising inflation and global instability in its wake, are compelling people to take a more pragmatic and measured look at how they go about doing this. Consequently, we are seeing people prioritise their goals more than ever.”

First published on: 07-09-2022 at 05:16:23 pm
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