Most Russians pessimistic about improvement of their financial standing

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 14, 2014) Most Russians (60%) think that the financial standing of their families will not change during the nearest year, according to findings of a survey conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM). The Russian people have been in such downbeat mood over the past ten years

17% of respondents expect a change for the worse in their well-being this year. A year ago, the proportion of pessimists was 12%.

Only 15% of the Russian people expect their financial standing to improve. Such expectations are more frequent among young people (aged from 18 to 24 years; 25% of optimists) and among residents of mid-size cities (19%).

Over the past few years, the Russian people have been indicating a high level of inflation as the main reason for possible deterioration of their financial situation (74% in 2014, 67% in 2008).

Another reason mentioned by residents is an increase in expenditures. Over the past year, the proportion of those who gave this answer has increased from 44% in 2013 to 53% in 2014.

As before, salaries and wages paid at the principal place of employment are the key source of improving the well-being. 66% of respondents in Russia think so. Besides, income may be increased due to salaries and wages for spare-time work, both for hire and without official employment (17% each).

Daria Khalturina, an expert of the Public Chamber’s Committee on Social Issues and Demographic Policy, told Izvestia that the period from 2000 to 2008 was marked by a rapid increase in income. “The increase was related mainly with the fact that many Russians had a low standard of living and actually tried to improve it. The people have got accustomed to it over this period and take an increase in income as a necessary thing. There is no crisis as such at the moment. Stagnation is what we see. However, the Russian people have already got used to growing salaries and feel uncomfortable when salaries don’t increase,” says Daria Khalturina.

Experts interviewed by Izvestia also say that there are almost no resources for raising salaries and wages left in cities with the population of one million persons and more. There is a growth potential in mid-size cities, therefore residents of such cities are more optimistic.