After self-isolating people visit beauty parlors and go shopping for clothes: Sberbank’s analytical website SberIndex.ru publishes analysis of Russians’ consumption behavior patterns between June 8 and 14, 2020

Jun 16, 2020

June 16, 2020, Moscow — SberData, Sberbank’s big data analytics and procession lab, keeps working on a series of indicators to track economic processes with the shortest time lag possible.

Between June 8 and 14, consumer spending added 3.9% w-o-w. The fall decelerated to ‑8% y-o-y compared to 2019.1 The consumer activity index on Sberbank’s analytical website SberIndex.ru, which characterizes the variety of categories of products and services in the consumer cart, increased from 68.1 to 73.0 points over the same period. Thus, consumption in Russia is nearing 2019, albeit only reaching the figures seen during inactive weekdays so far.

Recovery is still mainly happening in the category of non-food items, which for the first time added 1.9% y-o-y since April when stricter measures to combat the coronavirus were introduced.

Judging by the structure of spending evolution, demand is rebounding amid the easing of restrictions in June. In the service sector, a substantial part of the easing is still ahead and the decline remains at 35.3% y-o-y.

Among the individual segments of spending, SberData lab first of all pointed to a recovery in the transportation segment. Throughout the pandemic, this category alone was a good indicator of changes happening to consumer activity in its entirety. The decline in demand last week slid to 4.8% y-o-y, which is 4.7 pp higher w-o-w.

The demand for local transportation services, taxis, and car rental is also rebounding. Spending on cabs added 18.1 pp w-o-w. Car rent recovery should intensify once the Moscow car-sharing providers resume their routine operations. Spending on airline tickets is also growing gradually. In this category, the change is -72.4% y-o-y, while in May the fall was -87% y-o-y, peaking at -93% y-o-y. Given the de facto discontinued international flights, one might assume that a substantial part of the spending accounts for domestic flights.

Clothing, Footwear, and Accessories stands out among other product categories. As customers are returning to offline outlets, another significant improvement over the week is noticeable. According to the results of the week between June 8 and 14, the change is -11.5% y-o-y compared to -21.0% y-o-y a week earlier and -64% y-o-y in May. Spending is maintained in segments related to home improvements, such as Building and Home Improvement Goods, Household Appliances, Furniture and Interior Decorations.

Beauty Parlors and Sport also stand out in the services segment, with spending up 50% w-o-w, and y-o-y decrease of 39.7% and 13.3%, respectively. At the same time, several other industries (catering, leisure and entertainment, tourism) are performing weakly, SberData lab says. The drop relative to 2019 even further increased to 59.1% in the Cafes, Bars, and Restaurants segment. Naturally, this might be a random fluctuation of one week. However, consumer spending in this segment began to fall even before the introduction of any restrictions. In March, spending on all services slid 12.8% y-o-y. One may assume that this will be a guideline for recovery as lockdown measures get lifted.

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 SberData lab ones.

SberData laboratory is a Sberbank initiative designed to process and analyze big data. After analyzing data aggregated from payment processors and publicly available sources, bank experts unveil the quantitative characteristics of socio-economic processes in Russia on macroeconomic and microeconomic levels. Only anonymized data is used for analysis, which means no particular customers can be identified behind it. The lab and its studies do not disclose personal information or any trade secrets.


1 The w-o-w figures are free from seasonal adjustments; the annual changes are seasonally adjusted.