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Russia : living standards and inflation.

RussiaToday, more than one-third of Russians (38%) think that their living standards have dropped lately (half of the respondents over 55); while 45% of those surveyed do not note any changes in their financial position, and only 15% note improvements (young people and Muscovites were most likely to do so).

At the same time, the majority of Russians (60%) say that their incomes have increased in the last year. One-third of those surveyed (35%) say their family’s income has not changed over the last year, and 5% found it difficult to answer the question. Few people think that such an increase in people’s income outstrips the rate of price growth (4%) or is at least commensurate with it (6%). Half of Russians (50%) say that their incomes have increased, but less so than the rate of inflation.

The prevalence of this opinion is most likely due to the accelerated rate of inflation this year. The overwhelming majority of respondents (82%) note the apparent increases in the price of basic foods, goods and services over the last three months, with 11% opining that the increases were rather small. Only 2% are convinced that prices have not increased. Looking at data received four years ago, in February 2002, 55% of respondents noted a noticeable growth in prices, while 34% considered it to be negligible. It is interesting that today, a substantial growth in prices was noted both by the overwhelming majority of those whose financial situation has gotten worse, and those with the same or even improved finances.

The prices of what goods and services have increased noticeably over the last three months? Answering this question, the majority of respondents mentioned different foods, such as sugar (53%), salt (29%), meat and meat products (28%), bread (19%), milk and milk products (11%). Some people (18%) spoke about an overall increase in food prices. Many people (33%) mentioned housing services, as well as gasoline, fuel (8%), and public transportation fares (4%) in this context.

When prices increase, more than half of Russians (58%) would rather cut their needs and expenses than obtain additional income, while 30% express the opposite view (which is shared by half of those noting improvements in their living standards). Still, over the past three months, the overwhelming majority of respondents (71%) have had to cut certain expenses that they could afford before (even among those inclined to look for additional income, this figure is 60%). Only 23% of respondents say they have not had to refuse themselves any of their usual expenses over the last three months.

Source: The Public Opinion Foundation
23.03.2006, Population Poll

Nation-wide home interviews conducted March 18-19 2006 in 100 residencies in 44 regions. A sample size of 1500 respondents. Additional polls of the Moscow population, with a sample of 600 respondents. The margin of error does not exceed 3,6%.
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Posted on Thursday, July 27 @ 16:24:39 MST
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