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They Were the World’s Most Confident Consumers. Then Their Cash Disappeared

  • Consumer confidence at 3-year low and jobs the ‘biggest worry’
  • Unemployment’s rising, investment intentions are falling
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Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Updated on

Consumption was India’s big story. Its 1.3 billion population was expected to guzzle everything from iron to iPhones, driving global growth and cheering investors such as Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

For a while everything seemed smooth. Indians were the world’s most confident consumers and the $2 trillion economy was the fastest-growing big market. Then, last November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi voided 86 percent of currency in circulation, worsening a slowdown that had started earlier in the year. Climbing global oil prices and a tightening Federal Reserve could also complicate domestic policy making.