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23 March 2021

Real-time retail consumption tracker for March 15-21, 2021

Between March 15 and 21, consumer activity reached 72.2 points, which is a new high year-to-date. SberIndex analysts claim that due to the spikes in the size and structure of demand seen in the second half of March 2020, in the next few weeks the year-on-year comparison of results will be reflecting the “base effect”, rather than the current spending dynamics. In this tracker and moving forward, SberIndex will be taking this into account. 

From March 15 to March 21, the dynamics of expenses remained somewhat below the trend curve, with consumer spending up 2.9% y-o-y on the back of the food segment’s negative input. The base effect has not had a dramatic effect on the overall dynamics of final demand yet. Fluctuations are observed across specific categories, since until early April analysts will only have to deal with changes in the 2020 spending structure. 

Food spending is down 6.0% y-o-y exactly against the backdrop of the base effect. In the second half of March 2020, the population rushed to buy essential goods en masse, which led to a sharp surge in spending in this particular segment (+14% w-o-w from normal levels). This explains the current drop compared to the same stretch in 2020. The trend dynamics of food spending are +7.5% y-o-y. 

Non-food retail keeps growing adding 8.3% y-o-y, mainly driven by the Clothing, Footwear & Accessories category. 

That said, the service sector is on the rise (+4.0%) amid the very same “base effect”. The sharp change in the tourist segment is especially noteworthy, with spending on airline tickets now technically growing by 20.9% y-o-y, although no longer than last week it was decreasing by 68.9% y-o-y. This dramatic change stems from how rapidly restrictions were imposed on the industry. However, in general, the observed volume of the service market remains 13.0% below the trend. 

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  • Consumers
  • Expenses

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