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13 March 2023

Real-time retail consumption tracker: February and March 6–12, 2023

On March 6–12, 2023, retail consumption grew by +2.7% y-o-y (-9.2% y-o-y during the previous week; +6.3% y-o-y in February). Two factors had opposite effect on the y-o-y spending growth rates: last year, on March 6–12, there were four holidays, and this year, there were three; a year ago there was also panic buying. Panic buying had a more profound effect.

The high base effect for the second week in a row had a negative impact on annual retail consumption growth rates. However, the impact of panic buying on consumption growth rates on the following weeks will be significantly less prominent (the abnormally high demand last year peaked on February 27 – March 7).

The average check for Flowers and Gifts grew by 15% y-o-y to RUB 1,700 from RUB 1,500 (for March 6–8); there was also a noticeable surge in Jewelry (+6% y-o-y to reach RUB 7,500). The remaining Non-Food Items showed a less noticeable or zero growth (e.g., Health and Beauty Products -1% y-o-y, Clothing, Footwear, Accessories -15% y-o-y), which was caused by panic buying last year.

On similar dates last year, spending on Non-Food and Food Items beefed up quite a bit and shrank a bit on Services. That’s why last week we saw weak performance in Non-Food Items consumption (-10.0% y-o-y vs -1.8% y-o-y in February) and in Food Items consumption (+1.6% y-o-y vs +7.4% y-o-y in February). Spending on Services (+24.2% y-o-y vs +17.1% y-o-y), specifically on travel-related services, increased significantly. For instance, Air Ticket sales went up by +131.4% (+31.0% y-o-y in February), Travel Agencies added +120.1% y-o-y (+20.1% y-o-y).

Household spending was RUB 4,690 bn in February correlating with the +6.3% y-o-y nominal growth. Official consumer spending assessments in February 2023 under a methodology aligned with Rosstat will be presented on March 29, 2023.

Rosstat published data for spending on goods and services in January 2023. Actual data deviation from SberIndex’s real-time retail consumption tracker was -2.5%.

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

  • Consumers
  • Holiday
  • Consumer spending