RIA Novosti : Economic crisis is biting but Russians remain stoical, poll shows

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(RIA Novosti – April 4, 2016)

Russians are increasingly resigned about the state of the economy and do not think it will get better any time soon, according a new opinion survey.

Pessimism grows

A fraction over 37 per cent of respondents thought that the “crisis in the country” will extend beyond the next one or two years, according to the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting of the Russian Academy of National Economy and State Service. That was up from 24.5 per cent in February last year, state news agency RIA Novosti reported on 4 April.

The percentage of those believing that the situation will improve have nearly halved to 11.8 per cent from just over 22 per cent a year ago. Confidence that it will remain stable has also dipped, from 25.4 to 16.5 per cent. Those expecting it to continue to deteriorate beyond the next two years have nearly doubled, to almost 21 per cent from 11.5 per cent last year, the report said.

Seventy-eight per cent said that they and their families were feeling the effects of the economic crisis, against just over 66 per cent a year ago.

Belt-tightening instead of protesting

“This is clear evidence of the gradual spread of adverse effects of the crisis (loss of work, falling pay, underemployment) to more sections of the population and to more types of economic activity,” the Institute said in its analysis of the poll.

But it saw no signs of public unrest. “Most people are confident that they need not do anything to see out the hard times beyond simply reducing consumption of goods and services,” it said. It also noted the increased popularity of selling produce from gardens and allotments.

The survey was carried out in February and had 1,600 “economically active” respondents, RIA Novosti said.