Real-time retail consumption tracker for March 1-7, 2021
The beginning of the month was marked by higher consumer spending. On March 1–7 consumer spending grew by 4.2% after adding 2.3% a week before that.
The result is mainly due to the food industry (+7.1% y-o-y) and the service sector (–8.0% y-o-y vs –11.7% y-o-y a week earlier).
In the service industry, the y-o-y decline should be balanced by the favorable base effect in the coming weeks. To track the actual state of affairs in this sector, we have added a trend deviation indicator, which stands for what is believed to be the “normal” nominal level, i.e. what spending should have been if it were not for the pandemic meltdown. The deviation from this potential value is somewhat stronger (–11.8%), but over the past week it also added 3 pp. This means that there is indeed an improvement in the service sector of the economy.
The number of active businesses is also a sign of better consumption. The number of outlets is generally 6.3% higher than last year, and it was the services sector that delivered the largest increase over the week (+10.1% y-o-y).
Furthermore, we have divided the Hotels category into the categories Hotels in Russia and Hotels outside Russia, since the divergence of trends in these two areas is dramatic. The dynamics of spending on hotels inside Russia year-to-date have become positive (the metric was up 7.0% y-o-y on March 1–7), while spending abroad remains much lower compared to pre-pandemic (–88.5% y-o-y at the end of the week).