According to a sample survey of consumer expectations for the fourth quarter of 2015, presented by Rosstat on Thursday, the proportion of respondents who stated about worsening of their financial position, the results of the fourth quarter of last year amounted to 48%. According to the results of the third quarter was 46%.
Positive change in personal financial situation evaluated at the end of last year, only 7% of respondents (in the third quarter of 2015 — 9%). The share of Russians waiting to improve their financial situation in the next year, was 9% (in the third quarter of 2015 — 8%). The percentage of those who believe that will grow poor and further increased from 27% to 31%.
On Wednesday, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, speaking at the Gaidar forum, has warned of a sharp increase in the number poor in Russia. According to him, this is what distinguishes this crisis from previous ones the country faced in 2008. According to VTSIOM, published at the end of December last year, 9% of the population “struggling to ends”, and 30% of Russians money suffices only on products. In 2015 the share of people belonging to these two groups has increased almost twice and reached the level of 2008-2009. For comparison, in 2008 in the two most disadvantaged group was 10% and 28% of the respondents.
The decline in living standards led to decrease in consumer activity of the population. The index of consumer confidence reflecting cumulative consumer expectations of the population, in the fourth quarter fell to minus 26% to minus 24%. The lower the value, the more pessimistic expectations of Russians. During the second quarter of this year on the background of optimistic statements by officials that the peak of the crisis may be reached in the summer, this indicator increased to minus 22% minus 31% in the first quarter.
One of the components of this index — the index of favorability of conditions for major purchases fell dropped to minus 38% minus 34% in the third quarter of 2015. In addition, the Russians closer to the end of the year, reported a deterioration in conditions for savings. The corresponding index dropped by 2 percentage points and amounted to minus 47% vs. -45% in the third quarter of 2015.
Rosstat also compared the consumer confidence index in Russia with data from Eurostat for EU countries for November 2015. Among them more low, than in Russia, the index recorded only in Bulgaria and Greece — minus 29.9% and minus 64.1 percent, respectively. And the first three positions in November of rating were occupied by Ireland (18%), Denmark (14%) and the Netherlands (8.2 per cent).
As noted by the consultant of consulting group “Personal capital” Dmitry Gerasimenko, a deterioration of financial position of Russians and pessimism regarding the future impact of rising prices on imported goods due to the weakening of the ruble against the dollar and the Euro. “It is likely that this trend will continue in the future. Therefore, a reasonable way to preserve capital is the division of savings into dollars (50%), Euro (25%) and RUB (25%),” he says.
In the conditions of unstable economic situation of all population groups have to reconsider the structure of expenditures and to savings notes Gerasimenko. According to him, the current situation is to abandon any optional spending regular and expensive purchases and you may change the vacation plans, reduce the cost of entertainment.
“It is also prudent to review spending on food, household goods and clothing. Here you can save by using, for example, the promotion of shops, seasonal discounts and sales,” adds the expert.
The savings, he said, should prioritize the establishment of a reserve Fund in the currency of the recurrent costs, which can be used in the event of loss of source of income. “Most of our citizens make current expenditures in rubles, respectively, the reserve must be in rubles,” says Gerasimenko. Optimally, he says, gradually bring the amount of cash reserves to the amount of ordinary expenses for five to six months.
The expert recommends not to engage in currency speculation, trying to predict the course. “Last year we all watched as the ruble strengthened for almost four months, so those who tried to play on the appreciation of the dollar in that period, lost their money. Speculation can jeopardize your assets,” stresses financial adviser.