While foot traffic has slightly dipped due to the fresh Omicron wave, we do not expect a prolonged fall

B2C firms should use Google’s mobility index as a proxy indicator for the expected disruption to demand, particularly for the offline channel. Firms that depend on the service sector, such as in-person consumption and tourism, should expect the disruption to their business from the Omicron wave to be minimal and expect a broad recovery through 2022.

Mobility levels in India compared to pre-pandemic baseline.


Consumer mobility levels in India—tracked by Google’s mobility index—have barely dipped in recent weeks, even as COVID-19 case numbers in India rise to above 300,000 a day. While mobility levels remain the most unaffected in groceries and pharmacies, even foot traffic in workplaces and retail areas, such as malls and restaurants, saw only a limited downward impact. This trend is in sharp contrast to previous waves, when strict lockdowns combined with heightened consumer fear resulted in sharp dips in mobility levels in India.

Our View

As expected, a high rate of vaccinations in India, combined with lower hospitalization rates due to Omicron, has resulted in elevated consumer mobility despite the large number of new COVID-19 cases. The national and state-level governments have prioritized business continuity and economic growth over taking a restrictive stance in response to the recent rise in cases, especially as hospitalization rates remain under control. State-level restrictions have been limited to the imposition of caps on large gatherings and night curfews for short time periods. Firms should expect any potential future waves to continue having a lower impact on mobility levels. We have revised our consumer spending growth forecast for FY 2021–2022 (April 2021–March 2022) by just 0.1% points to 7.6% YOY and have left our 2022 growth forecast unchanged since before the Omicron wave.

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