RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s ‘Core’ Middle Class Shrinks to 10M – HSE” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oct. 4, 2019) Only 10.3 million people in Russia can be fully considered as members of the middle class, according to Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE). Real wages have been declining for five years in a row, fueled by Western sanctions and low oil prices. State-run media analysis of official data placed Russia’s middle-class […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Economic growth not an end in itself, vital to boost incomes – Putin” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) – Public- and social-sector wages, to which the May presidential decree does not apply, will be indexed by 4.3% on October 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Cabinet ministers. The main topic of the meeting was additional measures to speed up economic growth and raising household incomes. “Economic growth itself is not […]

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RUSSIALINK: “1 in 4 Russians Are Seeing Their Wallets Shrink – Poll” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 31, 2019) Almost a quarter of Russians say they have felt their finances dwindle in recent months, according to a survey by the state-run Foundation of Public Opinion (FOM) pollster. Real incomes have declined in the past five years in Russia against the backdrop of Western sanctions and falling oil prices. As he took […]

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Russians Finally Finding Out Just How Poorly Paid They Are, Shelin Says

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 24, 2019) Russians have long been accustomed to hearing that the average wage in Russia is 47,700 rubles (800 US dollars) a month, Sergey Shelin says; but now they are learning that the median wage – the one where half receive more and half less – is only 34,300 rubles (560 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “21M Russians Live in Poverty, Official Data Says” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 29, 2019) The number of Russians living below the poverty line has grown by half a million since early 2018, according to official data. Western sanctions and falling oil prices over the past five years have led to a decline in real incomes and a rise in consumer prices. President Vladimir Putin is pursuing […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Middle Class Is Shrinking – Bank Report” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 25, 2019) Russia’s middle class has fallen by nearly one-fifth since the start of the country’s economic crisis in 2014, an analysis by the Moscow-based Alfa Bank has said. Low oil prices and Western sanctions have reduced Russians’ real incomes for five years in a row. Economists forecast that the population’s purchasing power will […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Economists Forecast 6th Year of Falling Incomes for Russians” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 29, 2019) Russians’ incomes will fall for a sixth consecutive year in 2019, experts from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) and Russia’s Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) said. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has projected real incomes to reverse the five-year slump and grow by 1 percent in 2019, based on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians in Heartland Sour on Vladimir Putin Over Money Woes; Stagnant wages, rising costs fuel grumbling among working-class residents who once lauded president” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

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“… Working-class Russians … have increasingly shouldered the burden of an economy beset by Western sanctions and a government more committed to military spending than overhauling the civilian economy. … after years of paying for Moscow’s military adventures abroad, the economic malaise in Nizhniy Tagil, once considered a bastion of Kremlin loyalty, highlights growing discontent and an erosion of support […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Ditches Real Income Data That Has Slumped for Five Years” – Bloomberg

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“Russia will stop publishing monthly data that’s shown a slump in disposable incomes for five straight years after the indicator was criticized for using methodology that’s decades out of date. The Federal Statistics Service will start releasing quarterly income data starting next month and historical numbers will be recalculated going back to 2013 …. The new methodology will include data […]

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RUSSIALINK: “It is necessary to fairly distribute money resources between cities, villages – Medvedev” – Interfax

File Photo of Car on Road in Siberian Town

MOSCOW. Feb 17 (Interfax) – The difference between the incomes of people living in cities and villages should decrease and the budget funds will be distributed more fairly, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “Of course, agglomerations, cities are where our country is developing. They are very important, a considerable number of people live there. But we should not forget […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Real Incomes ‘Barely Budged’ in 2018, Chief Auditor Says” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 3, 2019) Russians saw virtually no change in their purchasing power as prices outpaced growth estimates in 2018, the country’s chief auditor has said. Economists say 2018 was the fifth consecutive year of falling real disposable personal incomes in Russia. They are set to drop again this year. “Citizens’ real incomes increased by decimal […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Every fifth Russian worker earns less than $250 per month” – bne Intellinews

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“Every fifth Russian worker earns less than RUB15,000 ($250) per month, according to … a study by the RIA Rating agency [cited by] … RIA Novosti …. Over 33% of people living in 22 regions earn less than this amount, according to the survey. [The worst were] Dagestan … (46%) … [and the] Karachay-Cherkess Republic (44%). In six regions, two […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Wages in Russia’s regions are well behind the national average” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

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“Wages are starting to grow again …. However … the recovery is clearly very mixed.  … mega-cities … Moscow and St Petersburg … had incomes … 51% and 117% more than the average national wage of RUB42,640 ($625) per month … according to Rosstat … [but] two-thirds of Russian regions have incomes well below that level. In general the poorest […]

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RUSSIALINK: “7 Key Bills of the Russian Duma’s Spring Session” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 27, 2018) Friday marks the last day of the Russian State Duma’s spring session, in which lawmakers in the lower house of parliament considered a total of 900 bills, of which 343 bills were passed. Here is a list of the most resonant bills that lawmakers approved in the spring session. Counter-sanctions The Kremlin […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unions want to negotiate with the Duma on pension reform” – Bear Market Brief E-Mail Newsletter

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“The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia announced yesterday that they want an increase in the pension age to be part of a ‘package’ of labor market reforms … [such as] raising wages and reinforcing the social safety net …. FITUR is, according to Kommersant’s sources, an entrenched part of the All-Russian People’s Front, a coalition led by United […]

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Russians Aren’t Blowing Bigger Wages in Boon to Central Bank

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – June 21, 2017) There’s less than meets the eye to Russia’s consumer recovery. While real wages grew at the same pace of 3.7 percent in April and May, the most in over three years, retail sales only crawled just above zero after a record 27 months of contraction. The Bank of Russia expects […]

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A New Threat to the Kremlin: Russians’ Incomes Not Keeping Pace with Their Expectations

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 25, 2017) In every federal district except the Far East, Russians say they need more money for “a normal life” than their current incomes, a situation that reflects stagnating wages and salaries and rising prices and one, the editors of Nezavisimaya Gazeta say, that represents an increasingly serious political threat to […]

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Russia Still Migrant Magnet Even as Wages Stay Below China’s

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – April 19, 2017) The vast pool of labor across Russia’s porous borders is relieving strains in the labor market, helping drain the economy of inflationary pressure as it accelerates after almost two years of recession. A steady flow of arrivals has continued even as shrinking wages and Russia’s worst currency crisis since 1998 […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Vice-premier: Russia has a unique phenomenon – workers are officially poor”

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Olga Golodets speaks out about worrying trend in the country: despite having regular jobs, millions of people are stuck below the poverty line due to poor wages. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – March 16, 2017) Russian Vice-Premier Olga Golodets has highlighted the fact that alarmingly low wages in the country are keeping people with regular jobs below the […]

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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 Spend More Than They Earn For First Time Since 1998

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 10, 2016) The spending of Russians exceeded their income in 2015 for the first time in 18 years, the Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday, citing the Center of Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-term Forecasting. According to the Rosstat state statistics service, the expenditures of Russians exceeded their revenues by 418 billion rubles ($5.3 billion). In 2014, […]

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Russians’ Real Wages Fall 9.5% in 2015

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 26, 2016) As Russia’s inflation reached double-digits last year, Russians saw their real wages decline by 9.5 percent compared to 2014, data published by the Rosstat state statistics service showed Monday. In December 2015, real wages of Russians dropped 10 percent when compared to the same month in 2014, according to Rosstat data. The […]

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Real incomes in Russia decline 2.0% in July, wages down 9.2% – Rosstat

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MOSCOW. Aug 19 (Interfax) – Real disposable incomes in Russia fell 2.0% in July compared with the same month last year, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said. They fell 3.5% in June, 6.4% in May, 4% in April, 1.8% in March, 1.6% in February and 0.8% in January. Incomes fell 2.9% in real terms in January-July 2015. They declined […]

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