Sberbank’s Ivanov Consumer Index grew steadily throughout 2019

Feb 12, 2020
  • In 4Q19 consumer confidence of Russians keeps climbing
  • Index of readiness to buy relatively expensive goods and savings ratio also higher
  • Outlook for large and small businesses improves

February 12, 2020, Moscow — Sberbank has unveiled a new survey for the Ivanov Consumer Confidence Tracker. According to the survey, in 4Q19 and throughout 2019 the consumer confidence metric was climbing steadily to reach -15% from -24% earlier. In 3Q19 it stood at -16%, whereas in 2Q19 it totaled -21%.

Yaroslav Lisovolik, Head, Sberbank Investment Research,

“In the fourth quarter of 2019 the trend for stronger consumer confidence continued on the back of stronger ruble, lower interest rates, and higher income amid weaker inflation.”

Due to growing real income people are less sensitive to prices but seek higher quality and wider range of groceries. The readiness to buy relatively expensive products also improved, having increased 2 pp to reach -38% compared to 3Q19. Previously, the highest value (-30%) was registered in 3Q18.

According to the latest survey, the savings ratio – which in 3Q19 reached 7.5% and in 4Q18 stood at 7.1% – reached an all-time high of 8.0% since the second half of 2015. The proportion of respondents with no savings at all slid to 36% compared to 41% in 3Q19 and 4Q18.

Growing consumer confidence of Russians can also be illustrated by their spending ahead of New Year. Respondents said they are ready to spend an average of RUB8,879 on New Year celebrations, which is 17% more y-o-y. Their pre-New Year expenses on groceries added 10% y-o-y.

Although the net hiring index shrank a little, respondents were much more optimistic about the future of their employers, with the business outlook metric climbing to an all-time high of 13% since the economic downturn of 2014 from a paltry 6% in 3Q19 and 5% in 4Q18. The outlook for large and small businesses improved, while staying the same for medium-sized enterprises.