SberIndex.ru names cities that are back to pre-crisis spending

Jun 05, 2020

June 5, 2020, Moscow — Sberbank’s analytical website SberIndex.ru has named the cities of Russia that are returning their pre-pandemic consumption figures faster than others.

Kemerovo has emerged as the first city where consumption has normalized almost completely, seeing its Consumer Activity Index (CAI) reach the 2019 level only being 0.2 points shy. This in part is backed by spending, which during the lockdown slid the least in Kemerovo Region.

Other cities that hit the Top 5 in terms of recovery are Perm, where CAI is only 4.1 points lower y-o-y, Maykop and Orenburg (-4.7 points), and Omsk (-4.8 points).

Consumer activity in Russia added 9.5 points as compared to April when the metric was slightly over 48 out of 100 points, while in May it reached 57.9 indicating that the country is reverting to its regular consumption as businesses and buyers have adapted to the lockdown measures introduced by the state.

The consumer activity index (CAI) helps understand how customers had to change their habits on the back of the coronavirus pandemic. It doesn’t reflect the volume of sales, but rather their diversity. If the number of outlets (shops, including online ones, barbershops, dry cleaners, cinemas, gas stations, etc.) gets smaller and purchases become monotonous (for example, consumers only buy food and medicines during the day), the index falls. If people make purchases in a large number of shops and pay for a variety of products and services, the index grows.

SberData lab, which designed the index, split consumer activity into three categories. If the index is between 80 and 100, it’s viewed as high. This is something typical for weekends and holidays. The maximum of 100 points was attributed to December 30, 2019, when spending in Russia climaxed.

Figures between 40 and 80 are typical for the medium activity of weekdays. When the metric is below 40, consumer activity is low, meaning that Russians only buy essential products or pay for the most basic services in one or two POSs, either on- or offline.

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.