Surveying 1,000 households, national research company MMCG estimated the average spending of households for Tsagaan Sar at 1,074,831 MNT, which is 17 percent higher than in 2016.

In particular, families spent 72,100 MNT more on this year’s preparations for Tsagaan Sar than in 2016, according to MMCG’s latest study on the monetary flow and changes to business environment before and during Tsagaan Sar.

Key findings of the survey were increased average household spending, higher profit for businesses, increased lending, and local producers’ inability to meet demand attributable to the temporal-proximity of New Year’s and Tsagaan Sar celebrations.

Spending of families living in Ulaanbaatar averaged 1,135,967 MNT, while spending of those living outside the capital averaged 1,031,599 MNT.

MMCG also evaluated that 80 percent of Ulaanbaatar residents celebrate Tsagaan Sar extravagantly and that 59 percent of them even got loans to prepare for it. On a national scale, MMCG says 62 percent of survey takers took out a loan for the celebration, the report states.

According to the National Statistics Office, there are over 380,000 households in Ulaanbaatar. Based on this data and the estimation that 80 percent of Ulaanbaatar residents celebrate Tsagaan Sar, MMCG approximated that families in the capital spent a grand total of over 326 billion MNT just to uphold the tradition this year.

Experts assessed that the money supply in macroeconomics rises at the beginning and end of the year in Mongolia due to national festivities. Observations conducted in the last three to four years show that household expenditure escalates during these periods every year. Reportedly, the average household spending amounted to 971,000 MNT by the fourth quarter of 2016, but this figure rose by 52,000 MNT in the first quarter of 2017.

The National Statistics Office reported that 67 percent of about 860 households in Mongolia, specifically 577,800 families, mark Tsagaan Sar and that these families spend 766 billion MNT in total. MMCG analyzed that around 80 percent of gifts distributed during the holidays are imported goods and that 307.9 billion MNT leaves the country in the form of Tsagaan Sar gifts and purchases.

According to MMCG, local producers could not meet demands for Tsagaan Sar this year as large celebrations – New Year’s and Tsagaan Sar – occurred very close in time range. In particular, there was a shortage of kheviin boov, long pastries made specifically for Tsagaan Sar, and long queues formed at stalls selling dairy products and kheviin boovs in large markets such as Dunjingarav and Narantuul.

When asked for clarification about the scarcity of kheviin boovs, flour product producers explained that it was partially due to the temporal-proximity of large celebrations and insufficient supply of shar tos, or clarified butter, and coarse flour grains, which are key ingredients for making kheviin boov.


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