Russian credit cardholders will spend 10% more this month on their holiday spending compared with what they spent last December, ZAO Citibank predicts in a Dec. 13 report.

For its research, Citibank reviewed the spending habits of 450,000 of its credit card customers over the first 11 months of this year and compared it with trend data from the start of 2007 to produce its holiday-spending projection. The researched clients were ages 22 or older and had monthly incomes of at least 9,000 rubles (US$292 or 221 euros).

“The prediction is for credit card spending. However, we believe it is also a good indicator of trends in overall spending,” Denis Denisov, a Citi spokesperson for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, tells PaymentsSource.

The increase in spending is an indication of economic recovery and stabilization, according to Denisov. “The consumers’ mood is definitely improving,” he says. “We are very upbeat on December projections.”

The report also suggests the spending bump will be higher outside of Moscow. It predicts residents of Moscow’s capital will spend 36% more in December than in a typical month, while those in other large cities with populations exceeding 1 million will spend 46% more.

But Muscovites still outspend other Russians. The average Moscow shopper will spend about 19,000 rubles in December. Other Russians will spend an average of 10,000 rubles this month.

“In Russia, just like in many countries worldwide, preholiday consumer spending is a critical indicator of consumer confidence,” Mikhail Berner, head of consumer lending at ZAO Citibank, said in a statement. ZAO Citibank was one of the first banks with foreign capital to enter the Russian market in 1993.

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