SberIndex analyzes how Russian economy is handling second wave of pandemic

Nov 20, 2020

Economic dynamics is slowing down across all major verticals, SberIndex analysts claim. However, as opposed to April and May, the current slowdown is not a meltdown in nature. Nor is it a sudden shutdown of the entire economy.

Consumer spending fell 2.7% y-o-y in October. SMEs saw 0.7% lower revenues in annual terms. Gross payrolls remain at a level of 2019, but without the coronavirus, the real labor income of Russians would have been 8.9% higher.

The onset of the second wave coincided with the time when the pent-up demand that had formed during the lockdown in April and May was already met. In response to the increased infection threat, the consumer has changed one’s behavior and is gradually cutting the costs associated with visiting crowded places.

Segments that cannot be moved online are under intense pressure. The tourism industry suffers more than others (–61.1% y-o-y) because major restrictions on population mobility between countries remain in place. The second wave of the coronavirus has heavily slashed the demand for services across cafes, bars, restaurants (–29.6% y-o-y), the beauty industry (–21.4% y-o-y), and the entertainment industry (–61.5% y-o-y). Spending on food items (+ 6.6% y-o-y), medications, and healthcare products (+ 19.9% y-o-y) started climbing last month, which is typical for these products.

The pandemic has contributed to the decline in consumption by an average of more than 25% among Russian regions with increased infection risks. SberIndex analysts emphasize that up until now there have been no signs of the situation deteriorating dramatically. There is a slowdown caused by consumers’ reluctance to take risks and the simultaneous restoration of some restrictions.

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