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 took away almost all their cash, worsening a slowdown that had started earlier in the year.
Indians fell off the top of Mastercard’s Asia Consumer Confidence Index in the first half of 2017, and a report from the nation’s central bank last week confirmed the bleak outlook. About 27 percent of Indians surveyed said incomes have fallen, pushing overall sentiment into the "pessimistic zone." Employment "has been the biggest cause of worry," the Reserve Bank of India said.