NEWSLINK: “PUTIN’S ECONOMY IS SO BAD, MANY RUSSIANS CAN’T AFFORD NEW SHOES” – Newsweek

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“To see the state of Vladimir Putin’s economy, look down at Russians’ feet. The weakening ruble is making Russians more cautious about their purchases, and annual shoe sales across the country have dropped in recent months as Russians wait for their footwear to completely wear out before buying new ones ….”

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This Recovery Isn’t for Everyone as Inequality Reshapes Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – March 22, 2017) A snapshot of Russia’s consumer welfare painted a picture of a country increasingly cleaved by inequality. A surprise deterioration of retail sales in February, alongside an unexpected plunge in real disposable incomes, is adding to evidence of what Morgan Stanley is calling an “uneven consumer recovery” driven by rising disparity […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Russians can no longer afford to pinch pennies on food”

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If incomes continue to drop, however, Russians won’t be able to cut their food budgets and still adequately feed themselves. Any further cuts could mean risking malnutrition. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – IGOR ROZIN, RBTH – Feb. 6, 2017) Consumers are not willing to further cut food spending even if their financial situation continues to deteriorate. Grocery spending […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Post-Election Economy: Down, But Not Out. Parliamentary elections are rapidly approaching, but this time politicians aren’t making any pie-in-the-sky promises.” – Moscow Times/Boris Grozovsky

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By any measure, the Russian economy is deep in a classic recession: GDP has dropped for the sixth consecutive quarter. If Russia had political competition, these elections would pose a challenge for both the ruling party and the opposition. But without real competition, politicians are under little pressure to lift the economy out of the current crisis. … * * […]

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Russians blame government for price rise, insufficient social protection – poll

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MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Russians mostly criticize the national government for “being unable to deal with the price rise and shrinking household income” (42%) and “failing to ensure social protection” (34%), the Levada Center told Interfax. The price rise problem is losing its topicality (48% in January 2016 vs. 55% in 2015), while social protection demands are on the […]

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Putin’s Core Support Begins to Waver; Working-class Russians hurt by recession look for someone to blame-in an election year

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – June 9, 2016) Russia embarks on an almost two-year-long election season this summer that ends with a presidential contest in 2018. But unlike previous years, the country’s faltering economy has taken its toll on lower-income voters who blame the Duma and the cabinet for their plight. Five years ago, allegations of vote rigging […]

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Russians Spend Half Their Incomes on Food For First Time Since 2008

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 19, 2016) For the first time since 2008 Russians are spending more than half their monthly income on food, as falling real incomes force them to buy only basic necessities, a study published Tuesday revealed. In February, Russians spent 50.1 percent of their earnings on food products, including alcohol and tobacco, according to the […]

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Moscow Times: Russian Middle Class Has Not Felt Impact of Economic Crisis

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 29, 2016) Russia’s middle class has not yet felt the impact of the economic crisis, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday citing a report by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Most middle class Russians have retained their jobs and income levels, and many have even reduced their debt burden under […]

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Most Russian Monotown Residents Say Economic Situation Unbearable

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 25, 2016) A total of 59.8 percent of residents of Russia’s single-industry towns consider their socio-economic situation to be unbearable or hardly bearable, the RBC newspaper reported Thursday, citing a poll by the Federal Guard Service (FSO). Only 3.9 percent of respondents said the socio-economic situation in their town was favorable and 31.3 percent […]

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Debt repayment falters as ruble stays unsteady

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

Amid continuously falling incomes, debt help groups thrive as Russians turn to different solutions to repay loans. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – December 2, 2015) In the past year, arrears on loans have reached record levels. Borrowers are finding it more difficult to repay their loans due to the steep devaluation of the ruble […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: “Russians Seeking Winter Retreat Are Stopped Cold. Moscow’s travel bans to Egypt, Turkey amid diplomatic crises force tens of thousands to adjust or cancel vacations”

The Wall Street Journal covers disruptions to Russian travel plans, amidst travel bans imposed by the Kremlin following Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian military jet and a suspected terrorist downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt. Turkey and Egypt were popular destinations, offering hotels and services far better than Russian equivalents at a reasonable price. Six million Russians visited Turkey […]

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Gazprom’s Miller Tops Russia’s Best Paid Executive List With $27 Million

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 20, 2015) Russia’s highest-paid executive last year with earnings of $27 million was Alexei Miller, the head of natural gas producer Gazprom, according to a ranking published by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine on Thursday that showed a sharp fall in the incomes of many of Russia’s top corporate bosses. Miller, 53, bucked […]

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Russia Sees Biggest Decline in Wages, Retail Sales Since 1999

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – November 19, 2015) Russian wages and retail sales declined by the most since 1999, a sign consumer demand will remain a weak link in the economy’s efforts to break out of its first recession in six years. Real wages fell 10.9 percent in October from a year earlier, a deeper contraction than the […]

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RIA Novosti: One in six Russians overwhelmed by debts – poll

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(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 6, 2015) The majority of Russians are unsatisfied with their financial situation, and nearly each one in six is overwhelmed by a large amount of debts, according to a survey conducted by the National Financial Research Agency. Some 17 per cent of citizens complain about an enormous amount of debts. The percentage of those having […]

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Russians Need 175,000 Rubles a Month to Feel Happy, Poll Shows

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 31, 2015) Russians believe they need an income of at least 175,000 rubles ($2,725) a month to feel happy, according to poll results published by the Izvestia daily Friday. The cost of happiness is higher in Moscow, where an average resident needs at least 193,000 rubles a month to feel happy, the poll by […]

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Russians Start Filing for Bankruptcy as New Law Enters Force

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – October 2, 2015) Russian courts received their first personal bankruptcy petitions on Thursday, as the country’s first ever law allowing individuals to declare themselves bankrupt entered into force. On the eve of the law’s arrival, analysts warned that courts could be overwhelmed by a flood of applicants unable to pay debts accumulated […]

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Russians’ Incomes Fall at Fastest Pace in 8 Months

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 18, 2015) Russians’ wages fell in August at their fastest pace since the start of the year, according to official data published Thursday that also showed a continuing slump in capital investment, industrial output and retail spending. Russia’s economy has been shaken by a collapse in the price of oil since summer 2014 and […]

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Foot traffic at Russia’s leading shopping malls tumbles

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – September 15, 2015) [Charts here bne.eu/content/story/foot-traffic-russias-leading-shopping-malls-tumbles] Foot traffic at Russia’s leading malls is collapsing because of the grinding crisis that has seen real incomes fall the first time in a decade and a half, according to the most accurate index measuring Russians’ shopping habits. Moscow boasts some of the […]

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Russia comes out worst in wealth equality study

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – July 2, 2015) Over four-fifths of Russia’s national wealth is held by just one-tenth of the overall population, according to the 2014 Global Wealth Databook, produced by financial services group Credit Suisse. The 84.8% of wealth held by the top decile of Russia’s population was the highest proportion measured […]

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Novi Russky RIP

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 18, 2013) Russian joke from the 1990s: Two Novy Russkis (New Russians) meet on the street. “Nice tie. How much did it cost?” the first asks the second. “Its Hermes. It cost a $100!” answers the second. “You’re crazy! I know where you can buy the same one […]

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Over third of Russians anticipate hard period – poll

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 21, 2013) Russians have mixed feelings about the country’s development scenarios in the near future. Some are optimistic and others suggest pessimistic scenarios, the Russian Public Opinion Studies Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Monday. Over a third of Russians (36%) claim a hard period is in store for the country. Most of such opinions are voiced […]

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RIA Novosti: Over Half of Russians Say Life is Hard, But Bearable – Poll

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 14, 2013) ­ Some 57 percent of Russians feel that life is hard but bearable, according to a new survey, five percentage points higher than in 2011. According to new poll results released by the independent Levada Center on Monday, 25 percent of respondents said that the phrase “things aren’t that bad, it’s livable” best […]

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Income disparity in Russia up slightly in H1

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 30, 2013) Income disparity in Russia increased slightly in the first six months of the year compared with the same period last year, Rosstat reported. The 10% of Russians with the highest incomes accounted for 30.4% of all income in the six months. The first half results in previous years were 30.2% in 2012, 29.8% in […]

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Constant income growth cuts poverty in Russia thrice since 1990s – Medvedev

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(Interfax – MOSCOW. April 12, 2013) Poverty in Russia has shrunk thrice since the 1990s but higher salaries of public sector employees remain a key objective of the government, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting of the Labor Ministry board on Friday. “Compared with the 1990s, the poverty level has reduced thrice. The decline is directly related to […]

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NEWSLINK: Rich Russians Also Lament New Tax Hikes

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Rich Russians Also Lament New Tax Hikes – Forbes – Kenneth Rapoza – January 3, 2013 – click here for full article) Forbes covers Russian tax hikes on the wealthy, largely impacting individuals, sole proprietors and with high-end luxury items such as homes, cars, boats, airplanes and helicopters: Not only rich one percenters in the U.S. are going to see […]

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Poll Reveals Savings and Wealth Trends

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  November 20, 2012) The material well-being of Russians has improved over the past 10 years, and there are fewer people who barely make ends meet, according to a recent study by the Levada Center pollster. The survey polled 1,600 people in October and showed that since 2002 the number of Russians easily capable of purchasing […]

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