The Consumer Buying Power is back!

Sales of cars, televisions and refrigerators increased more than 15% this Navratri and Dussehra from last year, pointing to bumper business in the run-up to Diwali and calming concerns that the currency swap and the GST will have a prolonged impact on consumer sentiment.

Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, LG, Sony, Panasonic, and Godrej Appliances said consumers across the country, including those in smaller towns, are buying more premium products this festive season. Companies attribute the pronounced migration up the value chain to a good monsoon, availability of cheap financing options even in the hinterland and an end to supply disruption associated with introduction of GST.

India's biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported an 18% growth in bookings and 15% increase in volumes during Navratri, while Hyundai Motor India's sales rose 50%, making this festive season a record of sorts for the car maker.

For white goods makers, the Navratri-Dussehra sales came as a major relief after a rather muted Onam and Ganesh Chaturthi this year. The festive season accounts for almost 40% of annual sales for appliance makers.

Manufacturers said demand this year is more for frost-free refrigerators, inverter ACs and large-capacity washing machines. According to industry estimates, the top four firms ­ LG, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic ­ have increased their primary sales (to dealers) by 25% this festive season.

Two-wheeler makers, too, are reporting strong volumes during Navratri on prospects of a robust rural economy, underpinned by good monsoon rain.

The earliest signs of buoyant festive sales this year were visible when ecommerce marketplaces, led by Flipkart and Amazon, reported their best-ever performance. While Flipkart had doubled its overall sales, Amazon reported similar growth for more than half the categories of products on its web site.

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