Sanctions - not a hindrance? Russians spending go up

The total daily expenses of Russians in March showed a traditional steady growth compared with the previous month, an increase of 10.8%. This is evidenced by data from a study holding "Romir".
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This growth turned out to be incomparably higher than the level of official monthly inflation, which, according to Rosstat, was 0.3%. The annual growth of the Consumer Activity Index by 3.6% also exceeded the size of inflation accumulated over the year by 2.4%, analysts say.
“Thus, due to significant nominal growth and real, that is,“ cleared ”from inflation, the expenditures of the Russians in March improved their performance. They lost to the expenditure volume of 2013, 2015 and 2016, but turned out to be higher than the figures of 2012, 2014 and 2017, - says the study.
Analysts add that the March increase in spending of Russians is not something special, since this trend is repeated from year to year. However, in 2018 it was even more intense than in previous years, when the average increase was about 9%.Also, the authors of the study draw attention to the fact that March is several days longer than February, with which a comparison is being made, therefore the Russians have more chances to spend money for an additional three days.
"In March, gifts for March 8 are traditionally bought, as well as additional products and delicacies for the holiday table. This year, the main part of Great Lent fell in March. And although the proportion of Russians who adhere to food restrictions during this period is not large, prices for fruits and vegetables and eggs has not been canceled, "- noted in the" Romir ".
The share of expenditures on product categories in the total cost basket in March increased slightly compared with February and amounted to 54% against 53% a month earlier. The average check rose by less than a percentage, which suggests that Russians increased their total expenses in March due to more intensive purchases, analysts comment.
"In order to save money, they began to visit more outlets in search of the best deals, which ultimately led to a general increase in daily expenses with the same average check," the study says.
The most active daily expenses in March rose in Siberia and the Far East - by 17.3%. The increase in costs above the average was also demonstrated by residents of the North-West Federal District (+ 11.4%) and the Volga District (+ 11%). In the South of Russia (+ 9.2%), in the Central District (+ 7.8%) and in the Urals (+ 7.5%), the increase in expenses was slightly lower than the national average, but still significantly exceeding the size of inflation .
The growth of expenses in the context of the month in both capitals turned out to be identical to the general changes in indicators in the respective districts. However, relative to last year's March, the amount of daily spending in both capitals decreased: in Moscow - by 1.3%, and in St. Petersburg - by 1.4%.
In the rest of the million-plus cities for the month, residents' expenses increased by 12%, and for the year - by 0.7%. In March, half a million consumers showed themselves to be the most wasteful. In this type of cities, expenses increased by 15.6% over the month, and over the year - by 10.9%. But in March, residents of 100 thousand people showed the most modest growth both in February (+ 4.8%) and in comparison with March of last year (+ 6.8%).
The data of "Romira" is commented by Gulnara Minasyan, senior researcher, secretary of the academic council of the Center for Psychological and Economic Research, Saratov Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences:However, this is not connected with the onset of spring, but with the observance of holiday traditions. The celebration of March 8 is always associated with the purchase of gifts and products for the holiday table. <...> February is also a holiday month, however, the population’s expenditures are compared without taking into account that it is the shortest month of the year. As a result, we see a fairly strong relative surge between February and March.
In April, traditionally, a wave of spending goes down and the next surge can be expected in May, when an abundance of holidays is always associated with an increase in spending, primarily on food. <...> In the summer months, the expenses of the population are traditionally reduced by the use of home farms. "
Head of the Department of Logistics, Economics and Management at the enterprises of transport, supply and sales of the Higher School of Economics and Management of the South Ural State University, Ph.D. Alain Levina also does not see anything unusual in the growth of costs, but emphasizes that in the current situation one can hardly expect preserving the dynamics: "The growth of the population’s expenditures during this period is quite understandable and logical: the change of season,preparation for the summer holidays, the next wave of purchases after the New Year's spending - all this explains the increase in costs. However, if we talk about the current situation, which is not quite stable from an economic point of view, the change in the dollar exchange rate, then we cannot talk about a stable trend towards an increase in household spending. It is quite possible a surge associated with the desire of profitable investment, but, most likely, the population will not be focused on increasing their spending. "
Olga Yergunova, associate professor at the Department of Regional, Municipal Economy and Management at the USUE, notes that before expenses and income reach the pre-crisis level, it’s still far away: compared with February, and left the monthly inflation of 0.1% far behind - this is a record that the Russians may not be able to repeat in the coming months - this is a fact. <...> With all the optimism, it is necessary to understand that about recovery expense in the level of 4 years ago it’s not yet possible to talk. Revenues, even if they turn to stable growth, will also recover to the pre-crisis level for several years, as experts expect. "
Well, something like this.
The full version of the material with detailed comments of experts can be read here.
Agenda, trends, opinions, exclusive. Informally on the Telegram-channel "Davydov.Indeks".

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