SberIndex analysts on what’s happening to Russians’ health-related expenses

Apr 07, 2021

SberIndex analysts claim that the number of customers buying products and services in pharmacies and health clinics is up 15% since the first quarter of 2020, while average spending figures in these categories have barely changed.

The number of Sberbank clients using private health clinics in 4Q20 added 13% y-o-y. Pharmacies saw the demand up 12% y-o-y.

A noticeable surge in costs on chargeable medical services in March 2021 (+27% y-o-y) is associated with the lockdown, which was introduced as soon as by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

At the same time, the demand for maintaining one’s health through sports and fitness is not rebounding as fast. This January and February, the number of clients who paid for gym memberships only added 3% y-o-y, whereas in Jan-Feb 2020 the increase amounted to 33%. There might be several factors affecting people’s behavior and they are associated with the consequences of COVID-19. First, some people’s incomes decreased, so they had to forego sports expenses. Second, some people try to stay away from confined spaces with many people around to not get infected. Third, during the lockdown, some may have gotten used to doing sports at home or in the street, so they never returned to gyms.

Meanwhile, the supply in this market segment has not rebounded entirely. The number of outlets where Sberbank customers made transactions in Jan-Feb 2021 was almost one-third up y-o-y.

When publishing this material, a reference to SberIndex ( is mandatory. is SberBank’s analytical portal, illustrating how life in Russia has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website features four key indices based on anonymized data: an incidence model, a consumer activity index, consumer activity changes, and a tourism index. The Business section shows the evolution of gross payroll and changes in small business activity. Other studies by SberIndex lab (formerly SberData) are also available on the website.