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20 April 2021

Real-time retail consumption tracker for April 12-18, 2021

Between April 12 and 18, 2021, the total volume of seasonally adjusted spending reached a new yearly high. SberIndex analysts claim that spending was 5.5% up since the pre-pandemic weeks of Feb 1 — Mar 15, 2020, while nominal spending added 40.5% y-o-y. Growth was registered across all spending categories and was particularly high in the service sector.

Nominal change (% y-o-y) without adjustments. On April 12–18, 2021, consumer spending surged by 40.5% y-o-y.

Changes compared to weekly average figures of Feb 1 — Mar 15, 2020. Consumer spending was up 5.5% between April 12 and 18, 2021, since the last pre-pandemic weeks. Seasonally adjusted spending thus reached a new 2021 high.

Spending was climbing across all categories last week, and this was particularly noticeable in the service sector. The dynamics of retail sales accelerated to +7.5%, but this is not a record (the metric reached +8.4% in the first week of the month). Speaking of the service sector, its decline decelerated to ‒1.1%, which is the best post-pandemic result. Importantly, the positive shifts affected most of the categories in this part of the economy.

The Cafés, Bars, and Restaurants category saw spending add 5.6 pp over the week, which means the decline reached a ‘paltry’ 12.4% since Feb 1 — Mar 15, 2020 (seasonally adjusted as well).

Spending barely changed across pharmacies over the week (‒3.8% since Feb 1—Mar 15, 2020), which is a decent forward-looking indicator.

The consumer activity index jumped by 3.7 points last week to reach 75.3 due to seasonality because mid-April is the time when some workers get their bonuses. However, the composite index clearly indicates that consumption is healthy.

SberIndex analysts would like to remind you that 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).

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