New Delhi: Inflation worries, recession in the West and a slowdown in the Indian economy. Three ghosts that haunt the Indian consumer – the result? The overall confidence of the consumer is down by 23 points compared to first half of 2008, pushing India into the low confidence category with 100 points being the comfort mark. The overall confidence of the consumer is down by 23 points compared to first half of 2008, pushing India into the low confidence category with 100 points being the comfort mark. As the consumers refused to loosen their purse strings, major sectors took a beating. Automobiles which saw a consistent growth month on month till September 2008, suddenly took a drastic turn dipping by nearly 24 per cent in November 2008, but after some fluctuation the April data seems to reflect that the sector might have finally found its driving force. The consumers are trickling back to the showrooms. Another sector that has shown a consistent growth year on year saw its sharpest fall in 2008. Retail sales which had been moving upward fell by over Rs 200,000 crore in 2008 and the grocery retail sector too saw a drastic fall of over Rs 300,000 crore in the same year. However, there is a ray of hope as these sectors are expected to recover in the coming two years. But the sector that has taken the worst hit is tourism. The global recession and the recent terrorist attacks have resulted in turbulent times not only for the aviation sector but also the hospitality sector. Aviation earnings have nose-dived with the sector facing losses of over Rs 4000 crore. The hospitality sector too continues to bleed with bookings down by close to 50 per cent compared to last year. If an AC Nielsen survey is to be believed, then 56 per cent Indians are confident that the Indian economy will recover in the next 12 months. But the other half still looking for positive signs and are hoping that budget 2009 will give them that reassurance.