After a significant fall of the ruble at the beginning of 2014, intensive calculations began in all branches of the country, to clarify whether the inflation will be the same rapid in the coming months, and whether it will follow for a weakening ruble? Of course, in general, it’s obvious that the depreciation of the ruble affected mainly on import content of consumer goods, rather than on the internal circulation.
However, recent data from Rosstat proved, that fears were not so groundless: the rise of the prices in Russia in the first quarter amounted to 2.3 % (in 2013 - 1.9%). At the same time the retail prices for the press, as shown by monitoring of the prices for newspapers and magazines in trade objects of different formats, increased on average by 4.5%. Thus, the rise in prices for periodicals is not just in 2 times more than the average level for the products in the country: in the first three months of 2014 it reached the level, which was achieved in the past, in 2013, only in the third quarter.
It should be noted, of course, that the main driver of price increases on the press became patchwork category. The market projects entered recently, released their second editions, which, as usual, are for 60% -100% more expensive and the prices of some of the collections just rose in retail.
According to the monitoring of retail prices for printed periodicals, leaders in higher retail prices for January-March (besides the patchworks) became such publications as newspaper "Vedomosti", the average price of which rose by 40 %, as well as magazines "Deli School" (+34 %), " Masha I medved" (+32 %), a collection of crosswords "777" (+29 %). In general, the change in retail prices of various thematic groups of periodicals was characterized in Q1 of 2014 by following parameters:
∙ The largest increase of the costs was recorded in the publications on the subject of "Hunting and Fishing" – it was 14% on average, while magazines, such as "Hunting", "Fishing” and "Fishing in Russia” grew more than others in this category.
∙ Retail prices for the sports press were increased for 7.8 % in the first quarter of 2014. At the same time newspaper "Sport express" and weekly "Sovietskij Sport - Football” in some outlets began to cost for more than 20-25%.
∙ The prices for culinary and scientific and popular publications have raised at the market level, but daily and business press have risen by an average of 6-7%. For example, "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" and "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" became more expensive by 12%, "Novaya Gazeta" - by 10%, "RBC daily» - by 6%, "Tvoj Den’" – by 5%.
∙ No any significant price changes were noted among glossy magazines about fashion and lifestyle for men and women. Automotive publications were not raised as well. Such publications as Cosmopolitan (mini), Women's Health, Men's Health (mini), Elle and «Gala. Biographia" can "boast" with special price stability: for more than six months their pricing remains very conservative.
∙ The prices for the periodicals of other thematic groups has raised by an average of 2-3%.
We should not forget, that the "Burda" Publishing House announced the closure of several of its magazines in late March. Women's magazines "Liza Girl», Mini and "Dasha" fell under reducing, because of the problems with advertising and unstable euro.
According to sources, the weekly "Avtomir" also may soon get under threat of closure. Tracing the dynamics of retail prices of the projects to be closed, it should be noted that the publisher didn’t try to make an attempt to escape "through" the reader, i.e. the cost of Mini and "Liza Girl» publications in the last year ranged within ± 2 %. The exception is "Dasha", with the risen prices of its issues recently for the readers of 22-23 rubles, whereas at the beginning of 2013 it can be purchased for 16-17 rubles.
If we compare the growth rate of prices in different segments of the market distribution of newspapers and magazines, during the 1st quarter of 2014 the prices of periodicals grew, especially in non-stationary retail (5 %). In newsstands and supermarkets departments newspapers and magazines rose by 3-4%, but in mini-markets press remained at the level of the end of 2013. However, do note that in this case we are talking about average prices.
What will happen to prices in the Russian press, we can only guess now, because they depend, as we have seen, not only from the publisher and distributor. There is a role for the Russian currency and the exchange rate, and the readers demand for periodicals. We can only hope that the anti record of 2012, when the rise in inflation has overtaken print media more than 2 times, reaching 12 %, will not be beaten this year.
PDA Expert Group
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