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11 May 2021

Real-time retail consumption tracker for May 3-9, 2021

The evolution of spending and its comparison to last year’s results (%, y-o-y), which is an integral part of our tracker, will be extremely hard to interpret in the next two months due to the extreme impact of the base effect. In April and May 2020, severe barrier gestures were put in place, forcing consumption to only secure the minimum volume required to keep the economy moving. For a better display of the current demand and its changes, we will temporarily introduce a comparison with the fixed period of February and the first half of March 2020 (Feb 1, 2020 — Mar 15, 2020).

Nominal change (% y-o-y) without adjustments. On May 3–9, 2021, consumer spending surged by 29.1% y-o-y.

Changes compared to weekly average figures of Feb 1 — Mar 15, 2020. Consumer spending somewhat decelerated, adding 3.8% on May 3-9, 2021, since the last pre-pandemic weeks.

This is definitely below the trend seen in the last few weeks, which, according to our estimates, is +5.3% y-o-y. Both the spending structure and the consumer activity index prove that lower demand has set in due to the additional days off.

As for the structure of spending, a weak growth rate in food retail is conspicuous (+3.7%). Obviously, Russians had stocked up on groceries a week before when a spending surge was observed in this segment (+12.1% since a typical pre-pandemic week).

In the service sector, the demand also slid to -5.1% over the week, down from +0.1% seen a week earlier. This was mainly due to tourism and communications services. As for the latter, we assume the payments curve changed due to the days off.

The Cafés, Bars, and Restaurants category keeps rebounding strongly, with spending difference being a paltry 1.4% compared to pre-pandemic.

The consumer activity index reached 65.5 on May 3–9, which can be compared to figures typical for early January when Russians have many days off (about 60 points).

A reference to SberIndex (www.sberindex.ru) is mandatory when publishing the materials.

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  • Consumers
  • Food services
  • Consumer spending