Russians save less on food and more on apparel and entertainment

2018-10-31

The number of people who redistribute expenses in favor for food and essential goods has decreased by 7% over 4 years – from 32% to 25%.  That said, over the same period the number of the respondents who save on apparel and entertainment has increased from 17% to 25%. The share of Russians who stopped purchasing too expensive, in their view, products has become a shade less – 15%. However, the number of people who indulge in every pleasure has felt almost by a half over 6 years – from 15% to 8%.

A quarter of Russians redistribute household budget in favor for increasing of expenses on food and essential goods. The same number of the respondents bring down spending on the entertainment and less often purchase the apparel (see Histogram 1). Such are the results of the October all-Russian poll*, held by Romir research holding. Alike polls were held in 2012 and 2014 that allows us to trace the dynamics in terms of countering the price hikes.

Histogram 1. How do you (or your family) cope with the price hikes/the inflation? (%)

How do Russians cope with the price hikes and inflation

Data source: Romir, all-Russian omnibus, October 2018.

It is worth mentioning that four years ago redistribution of income as a mean of struggling against the price hikes of the inflation was uppermost. At the same time, the number of those who spend more on the food and essential goods has increased by 5%, compared to the results of the poll from 6 years ago. The youngest respondents – 18-24 and 25-34 y.o. – less often fall back on a such mean – 12% and 18% correspondingly, unlike the age group of people over 60 y.o. – 41% of the respondents from this group gave such answer. Speaking about income groups, this mean of saving is more often applied by low-income people – 36%, those who has a mean income are second best – 19%. At the same time, only 13% among the group of people with a high income redistribute household budget in a favor for food or essential goods.

That said, the number of the respondents who withdraw from often purchases of apparel or entertainment has increased by 8%, compared to 2014. Here we can see an inverse trend – only 16% among the eldest group (60+) fight against the price hikes in this way. At the same time, exactly one in three respondents among the youth under 24 y.o. save on apparel and entertainment. Speaking about income groups, people with a mean income more often withdraw from shopping and going out – about one third of them (29%) claimed this mean of struggling against the price hikes.

One in five respondents (19%) has to withdraw from expensive purchases in order to create financial space in a household budget. Interestingly, the share of those who selected this response option hasn’t changed over four years. However, in comparison with 2012 less people save on major purchases. That said, the respondents with a high income prefer to withdraw from new household appliances, travelling and other big-budget purchases – 30% of them gave such answer. 

Lesser number of the respondents – 15% - claimed that they have to deny themselves purchasing number of food products because of the increased prices. Interestingly, the share of people who save on food has slightly decreased over four years. Nonetheless, lesser number of the respondents were worried about food price six years ago. Nowadays the eldest group (60+ y.o.) predictably prefer this mean of saving – 27%, and also the respondents with a low income – 28%. 

Only 8% mentioned that they earn enough and can spare no expenses. This share hasn’t almost changed, compared to 2014. However, in comparison to 2012 this share has felt by half. It is worth mentioning that the respondents at the age of 25-34 more often can spare no expenses – 14%.

*The poll surveyed 1500 people aged from 18 and older, residing in all types of cities in all federal districts. The sample represents the adult population of Russia.

Romir is the largest Russian private holding specializing in marketing, media and socio-economic surveys. The company has its own large regional network in Russia and countries of former Soviet Union. Romir is an exclusive representative of Gallup International, the international research association, in Russia and CIS countries with the research geography over 50 countries.