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Savings of Russians in August

According to the latest study of the financial situation of households, conducted by the Levada-Center in August, 32% of Russians have savings. This indicator is quite stable, and has not changed compared to a similar study in October 2020 (31%).

However the assessment of the saving strategy of financial behaviour is changing. After the recession caused by the pandemic that could be observed in autumn of 2020, the number of respondents who believe that the present moment is good for saving money is growing. This share has been gradually growing since 2016 and signifies an adaptation of part of the population to the economic situation in the country, the assessment of the current period as favourable for making savings.

At the same time there is a growing number of Russians that negatively assess the situation in the least financially secure groups, meaning those who can only afford food and clothing. Thus the growth of positive expectations concerns only Russians that can afford durable goods and more expensive products.

The dynamics of assessing one’s own ability of saving money is much less optimistic. The number of Russians expecting a decrease in the ability to make savings has slightly increased. At the same time, the number of people expecting the situation to remain the same has decreased.

 [2]

The exception is the respondents who are able to afford the purchase of durable goods and have great financial opportunities – among them there is a slight increase in savings optimism compared to the fall of 2020.

Fig. 3. Do you think that next year you will have more, less or just as many opportunities to save money as you do now? (the index is calculated as the difference between positive and negative responses + 100)

Russia; Moscow

 [3]

Real estate and bank accounts remain the most popular ways to keep savings: about a third of the surveyed Russians chose those options (32% and 31% respectively).  A quarter of respondents believe that savings should be kept in cash rubles (23%).

Table 1. What is the best way to keep savings now?

 Apr.21Aug. 21
In real estate3032
On a bank account in rubles3131
In cash rubles2223
In cash911
In precious metal products, antiques, paintings1011
On a bank account in foreign currency109
In securities78
In cryptocurrency45
In cash value insurance contracts11
Other44
Can’t say78

Among respondents with low incomes, cash rubles remain the most common way of saving. The choice of securities and cryptocurrencies is more often due to age differences: respondents under the age of 40 chose them somewhat more often.

Methodology

This survey was conducted August 19 – 26 2021, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample consisted of 1619 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%

2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%

2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%

1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.

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