SberIndex: spending decline accelerates

Oct 13, 2020

SberIndex analysts say that between October 5 and 11 consumer spending decline accelerated dramatically, having reached 4.8% as compared to 2019. The average figure over the past four weeks has slid to ‒1.8% y-o-y.

The consumer activity index tacked by SberIndex.ru shrunk to 73.9 from 75.9 points, which signifies a further decline in consumption variety as a response to COVID-19 risks.

Spending on non-food items dropped for the first time since early June when heavy restrictions were in place. Last week the metric lost 1.8% y-o-y.

Overall spending, food items inclusive, was also in the red (‒0.1% y-o-y) for the first time after the lockdown ended.

The demand for services is also on the wane. Between October 5 and 11, service categories lost 17.8% y-o-y (a week before the metric reached ‒14.2%).

Consumers keep avoiding places where people gather in large numbers: spending decline in restaurants accelerated to 25.9% vs 21.7% a week before that. Clothing and footwear also registered falling demand, which lost 12.1% y-o-y, the weakest performance since the beginning of summer.

The spending decline may be partly due to the additional restrictions some regions introduced to combat COVID-19.

Last week’s slight decrease in passenger traffic was observed both in Moscow and in other regions of Russia. It is not as large-scale as the one seen this April, but it is not accompanied by a higher demand for fuel and taxis, which would mean people switching from public transport to cars. If the regular surge in travel purchases that occurs on the first day of each month is disregarded, the overall decrease in the number of public transport passengers in Moscow was 5.4% on October 5-11, as compared to the previous week. On some days, the w-o-w decline reached 10%.

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When publishing the materials, a reference to SberIndex (www.sberindex.ru) is mandatory.

SberIndex.ru is an analytical website by Sberbank that illustrates how life in Russia has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, you can find three key indexes on the website, all of them based on anonymized data. These are an incidence model, the consumer activity index, and consumer activity changes. The all-new Business section features the evolution of gross payroll and change in small business activity. The website also has other studies, including all SberIndex lab ones (former SberData).