Russia: Consumer confidence edges up but remains entrenched in negative territory in Q1
The first-quarter consumer confidence index, published by the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) on 3 April, edged up to minus 11 points, from the fourth quarter’s minus 13 points. As a result, the index remained firmly entrenched below the 0-point threshold, where it has been for since Q3 2008, signaling that pessimists continue to firmly outnumber optimists in the Russian economy. Notably, however, the first-quarter reading only reflects consumer survey results collected in February, and thus does not capture a likely marked deterioration in consumer expectations due to the fast-spreading Covid-19 pandemic in March.
The first-quarter upturn was largely broad based: Consumers’ views of the country’s current and future economic situation, as well as the assessment of both their own current and future economic situation, improved in the quarter, despite continuing to linger in negative territory. Meanwhile, households’ willingness to make big-ticket purchases and the assessment of their ability to save both remained unchanged and deeply entrenched in negative territory in the first quarter.