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General Economic Trends

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Household Income and Savings

    Continued economic growth and relatively low inflation led to a rise in household real disposable money income. In January-February 2004, it rose 15.3% compared to the same period last year (January-February 2003 growth stood at 15.7%). Excluding seasonal and random factors, real disposable money income grew 1.0% in February month on month.

    The average monthly nominal imputed wage rose 13.0% in real terms in January-February 2004 compared to the same period last year and equaled 5,962 rubles a month. The number of workers and employees who were owed a debt on their wages and salaries by March 2004 amounted to 4.8 million, or 7.2% of the total number of workers employed in the economy. This represents a year-on-year decrease of 3.4 percentage points. Aggregate wage arrears amounted to 28,072 million rubles as of March 1, 2004, a growth of 14.9% on the beginning of the year (of this, the wage debt accrued as a result of under financing from the budgets of all levels expanded 39%).

    The average imputed monthly pension stood at 1,763 rubles in January-February 2004, an increase of 7.2% on the same period last year in real terms.

    Growth in household money income in early 2004 encouraged the expansion of consumer spending, which increased 10.4% in real terms in January-February 2004. The share of household spending on goods and services in household income contracted by 3.2 percentage points in January-February 2004 to 70.9%.

    The share of household spending on the purchase of foreign exchange contracted significantly in January-February 2004 - to 5.5% against 9.0% in the same period last year.

    Public propensity for organised savings rose by 3.6 percentage points in January-February 2004 year on year to 16.2%.

    The value of personal bank deposits as of February 1, 2004, rose 44.9% year on year. Sberbank’s accounted for 62.3% of the aggregate savings value as of the same date against 66.8% as of February 1, 2003, while Sberbank’s share in foreign currency household deposits with banks stood at 44.8%.


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