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Crisis Forces More Russians to Shop Only for Necessities

Short, daily trips to supermarkets cut down on expenses by eliminating bulk buying.

Around 13 percent of Russians buy only the most necessary items when doing their grocery shopping as the country's economic crisis forces many to cut spending, newspaper RBC reported Tuesday, citing a recent report by market research company Nielsen.

The data comes as Russia's economy heads toward an expected 3 percent recession under pressure from U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis and a plunge in the global price of oil, the country's main export. Real wages were down 6.4 percent in May year-on-year amid high inflation and the devaluation of the ruble, news agency Interfax earlier reported, citing data from state statistics service Rosstat.

Russians are also planning their spending on food more carefully, according to Nielsen. According to the survey, 85 percent of Russians make a shopping list before going to the store and about two-thirds of consumers are now looking for products at the lowest possible prices.

According to Nielsen experts, families with incomes of less than 30,000 rubles ($545) per month, or below what it is frequently considered middle class, now tend to go to the shops every day to buy food instead of doing weekly large-scale shopping. Short, daily trips to supermarkets cut down on expenses by eliminating bulk buying.

A survey published by Nielsen in May found that nearly 20 percent of Russians could only afford to spend on basic food and utilities.

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