Recent studies of the behavior of Russian consumers say not so much about the weakening of the crisis, but about the fact that people on the background of the decrease of real incomes of the population in 2016 by 5.1% compared to the previous year is used to live in the current economic environment. So write the experts of the research company GfK in the report “the Russian consumer is 2016: the habit of crisis”.
By October, consumer well-being of Russians has improved somewhat, returned plans shopping. If in November 2014, the crisis directly affected 16% of the population, a year later, this proportion had increased to 45% and the peak on last February (56%), then in April, it was 53%, and in July continued to decline to 46%.
According to forecasts, GDP by year-end will decrease by 1% (against a fall of 3.7% last year), and the industrial production index to rise by 0.3% (minus 3.4% in 2015). Inflation is expected to fall from 13.2% to 7%.
Still, however, a high proportion of citizens who fear further price growth, with much less Russians regularly watch ruble rates (28% in July compared to 55% in February).
Hope for the future among Russians is also low. In 2016, only 24% are confident that in 12 months the situation will be better, although in 2015 it is expected 30%.
More than half of respondents (59%) believe that the crisis will last three years or more. While 24% said that fear of poverty or the tyranny of the authorities.
In mid-2016 46% of the population reported that the crisis affected them directly. Three quarters were forced to abandon one or the other expenses. In addition, almost one in five (19%) complained of wage cuts, whereas in November 2014, there were only 7%.
While the vast majority continues to refuse many habitual acquisitions and to save everything.
In July 2016, three-quarters of citizens (75%) stated willingness to abandon planned purchases of goods. According to the consumer panel GfK, fell in volume and value terms, meat consumption, the decline in the consumption of fish and seafood decreased consumption of sweets and snacks, bakery products and groceries.
An increasing share of consumers purchase, where it’s cheaper. The Russians were forced to economize on visits to beauty salons, buying domestic appliances, cars and cosmetics.
To support the family budget Russians help the gardens and orchards. According to GfK, the share of Russians who grow fruits and vegetables in suburban areas has exceeded 40% and continues to grow. Greater importance began to play for the Russians and the house. So, if in 2015, 48% said that like to spend their free time at home, but this year their number increased to 52%.
Said the researchers and the changes in financial behavior of Russians in the current year. So, significantly reduced the number of savings deposits and credit cards. Analysts attribute this to the gradual depletion of the reserve of strength with which consumers entered into a crisis in 2014. Markedly decreased interest in voluntary health insurance and life insurance.