Сonsumer demand in Russia has been growing steadily on the back of higher real wages and record-low unemployment, according to data from Russia’s Tax Service and statistics agency Rosstat.
Statistics showed that in the third quarter of this year, households spent 81.9% of their income on goods and services, compared to 79% a year ago.
Retail trade turnover in September rose 12.2% annually, surpassing market expectations and amounting to over 1 trillion rubles (over $44 billion). Data shows that retail sales, a key gauge of consumer demand, this summer surpassed levels last seen before the West’s major expansion of Ukraine-related sanctions early last year.
Economists forecast that retail turnover in Russia will grow by 5.2% in 2023 after falling by 6% in 2022. However, by the end of the year, consumer activity may start to fade amid rising deposit and lending rates, experts have warned.
Rosstat data showed that the real cash income of the Russian population in the third quarter of 2023 increased by 4.9% in annual terms when considering inflation. Real disposable income, excluding mandatory payments, was also up by 5.1%. At the same time, unemployment in the country remains at a record low level of around 3% despite a lack of workers reported on the labor market.
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