New lessons in economics: Russian parents struggle with school expenses as real incomes fall

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Bratersky, special to RBTH – September 3, 2015) As Russian students head back to school, the country’s continued economic downturn and decline in real income is forcing some parents to make difficult decisions about educational expenses. Victoria, a single mother of a 13-year-old son, used to make enough money to live comfortably […]

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Sberbank forecasts Russian GDP to contract 0.5% in 2016 – Gref

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MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) – Sberbank of Russia (MOEX: SBER) expects Russian GDP to contract 0.5% in 2016, bank President and CEO German Gref said on Rossiya 24 television. “Our most realistic forecast assumes economic growth will be negative 0.5%. We do not for now see any sources of growth that would produce serious recovery next year,” Gref said. The […]

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Russia Faces Reality With Prediction of Deeper Economic Slump

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Olga Tanas – August 25, 2015) Russia’s government is starting to face reality. While insisting the worst of its recession was over, it cut its economic forecasts for this year and next amid the renewed plunge in energy prices and persistent sanctions over Ukraine. Economists said the revisions fell short of their estimates predicting […]

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‘Black Monday’ inflicts further damage on Russian markets

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

Amid turmoil on global financial markets, the Russian ruble fell to a historic low against the U.S. dollar on Aug. 24, while the key stock market index, the RTS, dropped 6 percent. Russian analysts say that there is little room for optimism while oil prices remain low. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan – August 25, 2015) […]

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Sanctions not responsible for Russia’s falling GDP, say experts

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According to a new report by Central Bank analysts, sanctions against Russia have not played a significant role in the decline of Russia’s economy, with experts agreeing that low oil prices are principally to blame. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – August 24, 2015) The introduction of Western sanctions against Russia is responsible for only […]

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Economic Crisis Empties Moscow Central Streets

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – August 25, 2015) Even though Moscow retail property owners are increasingly willing to offer favorable lease terms to clients, Moscow’s central streets continue to lose their tenants who are forced to close their outlets due to the economic crisis. In the first half of the year, the vacancy rate in prime locations […]

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How Next Round of Russia’s Disintegration May Begin

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 24, 2015) In his poem, “The Fall of Rome,” W.H. Auden wrote that it could be signaled not by some dramatic event but rather by “a bored official” scribbling a note and leaving his office to go home, a reminder that enormous tectonic shifts often begin with small things that most […]

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If Putin Remains in Power, Russia Will Become ‘North Korea 2.0,’ Gudkov Says

File Photo of Gennady Gudkov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 1, 2015) Kremlin claims notwithstanding, Russia has not reached “the bottom” of its current crisis because that crisis is systemic and not just the result of the decline in the price of oil and Western sanctions imposed in response to Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine, Gennady Gudkov says. All sanctions have done, […]

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NEWSWATCH BBC: Russian debtors despair as boom turns to bust

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The BBC covers the Russian economic crisis and the plight of Russians who took on debt during boom times only to face misery and potential disaster now. Millions of Russians took out loans during the economic boom years, but now they face crippling debts and the law is not on their side …. * * * … the Russian United Credit Bureau […]

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Economic Crisis, Uncertainty about the Future Pushing Russian Birthrate Down

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 30, 2015) The Russian statistics agency reported yesterday that the birthrate in the Russian Federation had fallen to 12.6 children per 1000 population, lower than it has been at any point in the last three years and, according to experts, a reflection of both underlying demographic trends and current uncertainties about the future among Russians. […]

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Russia Braces for Longest Recession in Decades With $50 Oil

Oil Wells File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – July 22, 2015) For an economy that lives and dies by crude prices, the latest downturn in the world oil market means Russia’s recession may stretch into next year for the longest slump in two decades. Russia’s first economic slump since 2009 looked like it would plateau as oil gained 40 percent from […]

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Russian Government Failing to Stem Rising Poverty

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – July 20, 2015) The government is failing to protect Russians who are falling into poverty at the fastest rate for nearly two decades, an economist said in an interview published Monday. The soaring inflation that followed Western sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Crimea and meddling in eastern Ukraine is eroding […]

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Weak ruble is the ‘new norm’

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory – July 17, 2015) It is axiomatic that every major sporting event has a distinctive theme tune and every financial crisis has at least one unique descriptive slogan or buzzword. In Russia today the competition for that catchphrase is between “localisation” and “the new norm”. A great deal has already […]

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Poverty Hits ‘Critical’ Level – Government

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 15, 2015) Poverty in Russia has reached “critical” levels, a deputy prime minister said, after government data showed a sharp increase in the number of people living below the poverty line. “Unfortunately, predictions are coming true: According to official statistics, the number of poor people has reached 22 million. This is critical,” Deputy Prime […]

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Russia’s recovery faces a reality check

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory – June 22, 2015) After a relatively positive performance for Russia’s economy in the first quarter, the second quarter has brought more of a reality check, with sharply lower numbers across many categories reported in April and May. The preliminary GDP estimate for April shows a contraction of 4.2% year […]

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Putin Offers Little Change at Russia’s Top Economic Forum

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko and Peter Hobson – ST. PETERSBURG, June 22, 2015) More than a year into an economic firestorm that is pushing Russia into its first recession in six years, Russia’s flagship economic forum in St. Petersburg was titled “Time to Act.” With Western sanctions over Ukraine and fallen oil prices battering the economy, thousands […]

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Russia’s Middle Class Won’t Return to Pre-Crisis Spending – Report

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sam Skove – June 19, 2015) Russia’s middle class is likely to continue to spend less even after the country’s economy recovers from its current crisis, a report said Thursday, in a trend that threatens to disrupt a once-key driver of Russian economic growth. Russia’s economic crisis, triggered by low oil prices and Western sanctions […]

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Russian Economic Path Is in Eye of Beholder for Putin Allies

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Paul Abelsky – June 19, 2015) The Russian economy is sailing along — in the eye of the storm or toward calmer waters, depending on who’s looking. Gauging the health of the economy during the first two days of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum were President Vladimir Putin’s confidantes, past and present. Things […]

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Kremlin Weighs Early Presidential Vote as Economic Worries Mount

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ott Ummelas, Henry Meyer – June 18, 2015) The Kremlin said experts will study the idea of calling early presidential elections, a move that could give Vladimir Putin a fresh term while his approval rating remains near a record high. “This is a new proposal,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters on a conference call just […]

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Lack of Action Questions Forum’s Reform Agenda

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – ST. PETERSBURG – June 19, 2015) Amid the grandiose, ambitious slogans of this year’s International Economic Forum, which opened Thursday featuring topics ranging from building efficiency in essential state-owned enterprises to making Russian jurisdiction “more comfortable for business,” the need to shift from defining problems to acting on them loomed large across […]

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Russia’s St. Petersburg Forum Opens to New Economic Reality

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – June 18, 2015) Last year, Russia’s flagship economic forum in St. Petersburg, traditionally held in June, was moved forward to May to make room for a meeting of the G8 group of industrial nations in the Russian resort town of Sochi. The meeting in the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics […]

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NEWSLINK CNBC: Russia faces ‘serious challenges’ and must push reforms

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Russia faces a series of challenges and should use its current period of economic crisis as an opportunity to make far-reaching reforms, Russia’s political and business leaders have told CNBC at a panel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Russia’s Struggling Economy Clouds St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event

St. Petersburg

Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event.

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Interfax: Peak of inflation has passed, but risks remain – Nabiullina

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

MOSCOW. June 8 (Interfax) – The Central Bank of Russia is expecting a reduction of inflation and noted that its peak has already passed, although risks exist for it, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said. “Weekly inflation has remained at 0.1% for six weeks already. According to our estimate, we have passed the peak of inflation, we are forecasting its […]

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Russia mines a richer seam; Amidst all of the doom and gloom in Russia’s economy, some of the large metals and mining companies had a surprisingly good 2014

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Mark Adomanis in Philadelphia – June 5, 2015) I’ve written before about Russia’s banking system and the annus horribilis of 2014. With the possible exception of Sberbank, Russia’s other large banks have been beset on all sides, massively writing down the value of loans they had previously extended to Russian corporations and also taking […]

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Russians against Kremlin spending money on Crimea or World Cup

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – June 4, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-russians-against-kremlin-spending-money-crimea-or-world-cup] An overwhelming majority of Russians are against state money for health and education being redirected toward other areas of the economy, according to a recent poll by the Levada Center. In the wake of announcements that Russia’s revised 2015 budget will increase defence […]

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NEWSLINK AFP: Russian bear will roar once more, says World Bank. Russia economy forecast to grow by 0.7pc next year, reversing negative growth forecast

World Bank Building

Russia economy forecast to grow by 0.7pc next year, reversing negative growth forecast The World Bank is seeing some improvement in Russia’s battered economy, predicting it would shrink by 2.7pc this year and return to growth of 0.7pc in 2016.  

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Russia is running out of money – revisited

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – June 2, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/moscow-blog-russia-running-out-money-revisited] Last December Professor Anders Aslund, then of the Peterson Institute, now of the Atlantic Council, wrote two op-eds entitled: “Russia’s Economic situation is worse than it may appear”, and “The Russian Economy is headed for disaster.” In both pieces he claimed […]

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Shadow Economy, Rural Self-Sufficiency Allowing Russia to Weather Sanctions, New Study Finds

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 31, 2015) Russia’s shadow economy and the self-sufficiency of Russians living outside of the major cities of the country “have allowed Russia to survive the crisis and the introduction of sanctions without large losses, according to five-year-long study of provincial society carried out by sociologists at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. […]

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Election Shifts Show Kremlin Wary Of Fallout From Recession

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, June 1, 2015) The Kremlin is moving to bring next year’s parliamentary elections forward and set up snap gubernatorial votes in several provinces this year, maneuvering that analysts say shows the authorities fear a deepening recession could weaken them and galvanize the opposition. The State Duma elections in December 2011 catalyzed the […]

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Russian economy to enter period of lengthy decline in 2015 – Economic Ministry

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, Feb. 17, 2015) The Russian economy will enter a period of lengthy decline in 2015, the Economic Development Ministry said in its updated forecast. “If major geopolitical risks and hypotheses that oil will average at $50 a barrel persist, then GDP could fall 3%. According to forecasts, the economy will enter a period of lengthy decline in […]

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Any Russian Protests Ahead Likely to Be About Economic Issues Rather than Political Ones, Experts Say

Moscow Protest file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 5, 2014) Three Russian experts with whom Russkaya planeta spoke say that while declines in the standard of living of many Russians in the coming year as a result of the economic crisis may lead to some protests about economic issues, any such demonstrations are unlikely to focus on high politics.the […]

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The oil price is all that matters regarding Russia

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer – December 19, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. The key takeaway concerning the economy and the ruble from President Valdimir Putin’s press conference on December 18 is that the Kremlin does not have any strategy or plan to try and pull out of this […]

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How does the 2014 ruble crisis compare with the 1998 vintage?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 17, 2014) The ruble’s crash on December 15 from RUB53 to nearly RUB80 vs the dollar has caused many commentators to compare this crisis to Russia’s financial collapse in 1998. Is Russia really going into a full-scale meltdown for the fourth time in two decades? Crashing oil prices […]

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Russia doomed to recession (excerpt)

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 19, 2014) [Full text and charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/russia-doomed-recession] 1.0 Economics 1.1 Economics overview The mood amongst Russia watchers is as black as it has always been in the midst of one of Russia’s major crises. The forecasts for 2015 are almost – but not unanimously – bleak. The crash of […]

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Russia Sees Recession Next Year If Oil Price Falls to $60

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – November 18, 2014) Russia’s economy will sink into a recession next year if the price of oil slumps to $60 a barrel and the U.S. and its allies tighten sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. The economy of the world’s largest energy exporter won’t grow faster than 1 […]

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Russia flirts with recession

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – August 22, 2013) Russia never does things by halves. Before the global crisis of 2008, the talk was of an economy overheating. But the latest data showing second-quarter GDP grew just 1.2% from a year ago suggests the country is sliding toward recession and the government seems, at first […]

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