SberIndex: during New Year holidays Russians boost domestic tourism and buy some more presents

Jan 12, 2021

According to SberIndex analysts, from January 4 to 10, consumer spending decreased by 1.2% y-o-y. Over the past four weeks, the metric added 0.1% y-o-y. Household demand has reached 2020 levels and is stabilizing near these figures.

Taking into account foreign transactions, spending dropped 5.1% y-o-y over the past four weeks. Thus, limited foreign travel supports domestic spending significantly.

People were traveling quite a lot in Russia before the New Year and during the holidays. SberIndex analysts have reason to assume that the trips were largely associated with visits to relatives.

Spending in the Gas/Automotive Service Stations category is noticeably higher than last year (+5.0% y-o-y). Apparently, many Russians preferred their own means of transport to public types of transportation.

At the same time, as soon as last week airline ticket sales fell by 77% y-o-y, although at the end of December the decline was only 14.9% y-o-y. According to SberIndex analysts, this clearly indicates that the buyers expected to travel before the new year.

Indirect signs show that domestic tourism was better off than a year ago. In addition to gas expenditures, this is confirmed by higher spending in Russian hotels. The volume of spending inside the country increased by 5.8% y-o-y, while the overall spending across hotels fell by 81.4% y-o-y.

Non-food retailers registered a spike in spending during the long holidays (+8.1% y-o-y) after a 2.2% y-o-y fall a week before that. SberIndex analysts believe this is because December 28–30, 2020, were business days and some buyers failed to do the shopping, which moved to the first full week of 2021.

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

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 SberIndex lab ones (former SberData).