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Why does the number of tourists grow against the backdrop of falling incomes?

In May 2019, according to the data of Moscow airports, the number of air passengers leaving Moscow for the May holidays increased by about a third compared with last year. For metropolitan airports, two weeks from the end of April to about mid-May is a kind of high season. Anyone who can afford it, leaving Moscow, this is already a tradition. People, who decide to relax in Russia, fly mostly to St. Petersburg and the Black Sea resorts. Beach lovers go to Israel, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. And one more group of tourists chooses vacations in European cities, Prague, Rome and Paris.

Russian sociologists, in turn, note that many Russians simply do not have money for vacations, so they stayed at home. Nearly two-thirds of Russians planned to spend the holidays at home. Only 5% of respondents were going to go abroad, another 4% to the Crimea and the same to other regions of Russia. About 70% of Russians call it the high cost of the main reason for refusing full rest. So why, with a shortage of money, is the number of holidaymakers growing? It turns out strange: there is no money for rest, but there are holidaymakers, and their number is growing. In the first quarter, the fall in real disposable income, according to Rosstat, was 2.3%. If incomes fall, and people continue to spend, this is some kind of force majeure. And the answer lies on the surface– they use consumer lending.

The share of consumer lending is increasing. Over the past 3 years, interest rates on consumer loans have declined markedly, which led to an increase in demand for consumer loans. But the debt load of Russians acts as a brake on economic growth, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Ksenia Yudaeva expressed concern. For 2018, the loan portfolio issued to individuals increased by 22% to 14.3 trillion rubles. The main concern is that credit growth is not supported by the growth of real incomes of the population, which have been falling since 2014. This leads to the accumulation of risks from both borrowers and banks. From October 2019, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation proposes to introduce a calculation of the debt burden of borrowers. In the conditions of economic stagnation, the adoption of these measures is timely.

In 2019, mortgage loans will remain the main driver of growth in the consumer lending market. Although experts believe that it is possible to reduce the growth rate of the mortgage loan portfolio to 17-18% this year. A slowdown in the growth of car loans is also expected to 5-7% against 15% in 2018. The growth of the portfolio of unsecured loans in the current year could amount to 15% against 21% in 2018 against the background of the increase in risk ratios from April 1 (for consumer loans with a total loan value from 10% to 30%).

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