A sharp acceleration in inflation and a drop in living standards have returned Russian consumers to the mode of consumption of savings.
According to the results of the first quarter, the Russians received 14.3 trillion rubles of income, and spent 14.904 trillion on the purchase of goods and services, follows from the data of Rosstat.
The difference was covered by savings, which decreased by 604.3 billion rubles in three months.
The average rate at which savings in accounts and in cash melted has reached 6.7 billion rubles a day, or 280 million rubles an hour.
People are eating up stocks as their real incomes continue to fall (-3.6% in the first quarter), and inflation hits 5-year records in the broad consumer basket and 6-year records in the food and drug market.
Expecting further acceleration of price growth, “people feel like they are consuming“ like the last time, ”says Dmitry Polevoy, Investment Director of Loko-Invest Investment Company.
The total volume of consumer spending remains below the pre-crisis level by about 2%, but compared to the fourth quarter, the decline has slowed down by almost three times.
In addition to savings, bank loans are used, the issuance of which “is accelerating and will soon reach the pace of the end of last year,” said Stanislav Murashov, an analyst at Raiffeisenbank.
According to the Central Bank, in January-March, individuals took out 1.217 trillion rubles of new loans from banks, increasing debt at an average rate of 13.5 billion rubles a day, or 563 million rubles an hour.
The total debt of individuals exceeded 21 trillion rubles, and the debt burden reached 18.7% of income, which is a record in the entire modern history of the country.
At the end of 2020, the real incomes of Russians fell back by at least 10 years, wages in dollar terms fell to an 11-year bottom.
The beginning of 2021 brought a deterioration in all income items, Murashov notes: “Both salaries and social transfers and other incomes of the population have sagged. Moreover, judging by the fact that real wages of employees of organizations were growing in January-February, this means that the deterioration was observed in the “gray” segment of the labor market. “
The anti-record was the segment of small and medium-sized businesses, where salaries fell by 17% in annual terms (according to the estimates of business ombudsman Boris Titov).
The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia predicts an increase in real incomes of Russians in 2021 by 3%. At the end of April, the head of the department, Maxim Reshetnikov, announced a change in the methodology for calculating this indicator by Rosstat.
To make the calculations “more complete”, according to Reshetnikov, it is possible “by clarifying the composition of the data, expanding the composition of processed information sources.”