NEW DELHI (AP) — To understand why people are so cautious with their money five years after the financial crisis, The Associated Press interviewed consumers around the world. Here is what one person said:
Name: Pradeep Kumar
Home: Varanasi, in northern India
Job: Owner of a factory that makes water pumps and parts for electric fans
Business is booming for Pradeep Kumar, but he still feels he's struggling.
The problem: inflation.
"Prices of basic necessities such as food and clothing have gone up by 50 to 70 percent in the past five years," he says. "Although my business has taken off and there's more money coming in, my savings have remained roughly the same."
Kumar has benefited from a growing middle class eager to buy new homes and fix up old ones in his hometown of Varanasi. Homeowners frustrated with the city's low water pressure have been buying his pumps to help move water to overhead storage tanks.
Inflation notwithstanding, Kumar's lifestyle has improved. His wife stays home now to take care of their two sons, 10 and 4. And he can afford a family vacation once a year to some favored spots, like nearby hill resorts. In 2011, the family even splurged on a vacation to the beach state of Goa, 1,085 miles to the southwest.
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