Speaking at the round-table "Personal Consumption in 2016: Groceries and Other Goods", chief adviser to the Head of the Analytical Center Leonid Grigoriev noted that all the crises in Russia, the one in 1998, the one in 2008 and the one in 2015, were characterized by external shocks, sharp devaluation of the national currency and inflation.
The expert believes there is a problem of the cycle phase and equilibrium point. It's important to figure out where the new market equilibrium between household income, demand and supply is and where the point is that the new growth cycle has settled on, Mr. Grigoriev believes.
Analytical Center expert Alexander Golyashev characterized the general trends in personal consumption in Russia. "Personal consumption contracted sharply by about 10% in 2015 and about 5% in 2016," the analyst reported. This contraction happened first of all in the sales of goods while sales of paid services to the population were little affected by the crisis, he went on to explained.
Speaking about the differences between groceries and other goods, Mr. Golyashev noted that the boom sales of electronics and household appliances in Dec 2014 hugely inflated the statistics for that year. "Consequently, the fall in sales of non-grocery goods in 2015 was especially sharp," the expert said. "In 2016, sales of non-food items were falling at the same rate as grocery sales."
In the makeup of personal consumption of items other than groceries there was a decline in the share of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and gasoline, while the share of fabrics and clothes fell the fastest. Among groceries sales of meat were declining at the slowest rate while sales of alcohol plummeted.
The experts also noted that the consumer confidence index fell twice during the crisis: first in the winter of 2014-2015 and another time one year later.
The topic of personal consumption in 2016 is going to get a more in-depth treatment in the March bulletin on the current trends in the Russian economy, which the Analytical Center plans to publish next week.