Russia's consumer spending stays robust.
In its publication, "Russia, Economic and Financial Situation (July 2006)," the CBR also provided statistics on consumer spending. The CBR said, "Real consumer spending grew by an estimated 10.8% in January-May 2006."
Household saving was also growing, but the rate was declining slightly. Savings grew 10.5 percent in the January-May 2006 period. But the CBR reported that the rate of growth declined slightly by 0.6 percent.
Publicly released retail spending statistics are somewhat more current than the CBR's income and savings statistics. The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) provides a sophisticated breakdown of retail sales current to September 2006.
For the first nine months of 2005, total retail sales in Russia grew 12.6 percent when compared with the same period in 2004. For the full year 2005, retail sales increased 12.8 percent over 2004. For the first nine months of 2006, retail sales grew 12.3 percent, 0.3 percent less than in 2005.
Non-food sales grew faster than food sales. For the first nine months of 2006, non-food sales grew 14.7 percent as opposed to 9.5 percent for food sales.
In the economic review cited above, the CBR reported, "Profit in wholesale and retail trade increased 100.0% in January-April 2006 year on year." The CBR said that Rosstat surveys were the source for this information.
Clearly, CBR and Rosstat analyses show that Russia's consumers are doing well. Support for this highly favorable situation comes from International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates of Russian GDP growth.
In 2005, Russia's GDP grew 6.4 percent. In 2006, the IMF estimated GDP growth at 6.5 percent, and the IMF estimate for 2007 is the same.
Inflation, though, is a matter of concern. Rosstat said that during 2006 inflation was running about 9.0 percent. The IMF predicts that during 2007, the rate of inflation will increase 8.5 percent.
Rosstat said that inflation was due price increases across the board.
Russia has had major difficulties with inflation in past years. The IMF, however, does show a gradual decrease in the rate at which inflation is growing.
In terms of how Russian consumers spend at retail, in the food category alcoholic beverages was by far the biggest spending category (9.7 percent of retail sales) with meat and poultry second at 5.6 percent. In non-foods "sewn articles" were first (6.6 percent) followed by passenger cars (6.2 percent).
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|Date:||Apr 1, 2007|
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