Russia?s consumer confidence has recovered to pre-crisis levels. The consumer confidence index grew to negative 5% in 1Q12 from minus 7% in 4Q11, UralSib reported in a recent note.
High oil prices and low imports means Russia is receiving floods of cash and the state?s size in the economy (about half of all Russian incomes are directly or indirectly connected to budget spending) means this money quickly finds its way into normal people?s pockets.
The improving sentiment has already made itself felt in the retail sector where sales are booming as well as the banking sector where consumer lending is soaring, up 3.5% month-on-month and 41% year-on-year according to the CBR. Growth in corporate lending is slower, but now is also starting to pick up pace on the back of all the shopping.
The consumer index of expected changes in the economy increased to 4% in 1Q12 from 1% in 4Q11 while the index of expected changes in personal welfare was up to 0% in 1Q12 from minus 3% in 4Q11.
Consumer confidence growth was the most marked among middle-aged and older people (30 years and older) and lowest among the young (16-29 year olds), says UralSib.
?We expect consumer confidence to decelerate moderately over the next few months. We expect consumer credit growth to decelerate to 15% in 2012 (up 36.9% YoY in February),? the bank said.