In the first half of 2008, Russian trade provided 20,6% of GDP, surpassing all other types of economic activity. The growth in the gross value added of trade amounted to 11,8% (overall GDP - 8%). In January-September 2008, against the background of accelerating inflationary processes in the consumer market and a slight slowdown in the growth of real money incomes of the population, the dynamics of sales slowed down. The growth in retail trade turnover amounted to 15%, which is 0,8 percentage points lower than the same indicator in January-September 2007, according to the monitoring of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade on the socio-economic development of the Russian Federation for 9 months.
In the 22 regions of Russia over the indicated period of 2008, there was a twenty-percent or more increase in volume, including in three entities (the Republic of Adygea, Ivanovo Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug) - more than 30% increase in retail turnover.
Significant unevenness is observed in the regional dynamics of changes in the retail turnover of Russia. 8 of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Sverdlovsk, Rostov, Samara, Tyumen regions and the Krasnodar Territory account for 44,8% of the total retail turnover, including only Moscow - 17,4%.
In the III quarter of 2008, two opposite trends influenced the dynamics of consumer activity. On the one hand, in connection with the financial crisis, there was a decrease in the availability of credit resources for the population, which somewhat limited consumer activity. On the other hand, a slowdown in savings growth contributed to an increase in consumer activity. In January-August of 2008, the population’s cash income amounted to 15 993,8 billion rubles. and increased by 25% compared to the corresponding period of 2007. The population spent on the purchase of goods and services 11 720 billion rubles, which is 28,1% more than in January-August 2007. Savings for this period amounted to 2077,7 billion rubles. , which is 19,2% more than for the corresponding period of the previous year. In the structure of the use of income for January-August of the current year, the share of consumer spending increased and amounted to 73,3% of total cash income of the population, which is 1,8 percentage points higher than 2007, of which the cost of purchasing goods - 56,9% (2007 - 54,5 %), while the share of savings decreased and amounted to 7,4% (2007 g. - 8,3%).
Since the beginning of this year, there has been a tendency to exceed the growth rate of prices for food products compared to non-food products amid a general increase in prices for consumer goods. Only in January-September of 2008 the increase in prices for goods amounted to 9,4%, which is by 3,3 percentage points higher than in the same period last year.
Outperforming growth in solvent demand for goods and services compared with their supply and the dynamics of domestic production, the trend of convergence of domestic and world prices, and low level of competition in local and regional markets remain internal factors that maintain high inflation.
The growth of the solvency of the population contributed to an increase in the production of consumer goods by domestic enterprises. This led to a slight decrease in the share of imports in expenditures: in the 1st quarter of 2008, it amounted to 46%, in the 2nd quarter - 44% (1st quarter of 2007 - 48%, 2nd quarter - 45%). Today, a high share of imported goods allows for a balance of supply and demand in the consumer market of goods and contributes to the creation of the necessary competitive environment.
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