JRL NEWSWATCH: “Relentless rise of consumer debt in Russia fuels bubble fears for some” – Reuters/ Darya Korsunskaya, Elena Fabrichnaya, Tatiana Voronova

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

“… After five years of shrinking real incomes, many Russians are borrowing to make ends meet or even just to pay off their creditors – and the issue is climbing up the political agenda. … Some 2.5 million people earning up to 20,000 roubles ($303.09) a month … less than half the average wage, spend more than half of that on loan repayments, the National Association of Professional Collection Agencies estimates. … [T]he problem [is a sensitive one] for Putin, whose popularity ratings have slipped …. Moscow is in the grip of protests over the exclusion of opposition candidates from a local election and sporadic protests over issues ranging from waste disposal to unwanted construction have flared elsewhere. …”

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