More than 40% of Russians said about the lack of money for food and clothes

More and more Russians consider themselves poor, to be fresh data the Higher school of Economics. The proportion of the population who do not have enough money to buy clothes or even food, increased in June to 41.4% (was 40%), while the share of those who assess their financial situation as bad or very bad increased to 23.2% (from 21.1% in the previous month), says in the new issue of socio-economic monitoring of the HSE.

To prepare HSE monitoring orders from VTSIOM special sample survey of the population. The survey results show the subjective perception of poverty complement the objective data of Rosstat (for example, levels of salaries and expenses of the population). Subjective measure of poverty is emerging at the intersection of the respondents rating their financial situation (on a scale from “very poor” to “very good”) and evaluation of their affordability (is there enough money to buy food, shoes, furniture, cars or real estate).

Earlier Rosstat estimated that in the first quarter of 2016, every sixth Russian (22.7 million people, or 15.7% of the total Russian population) lived below the poverty line. This figure can be correlated with the rate of so-called “coherent subjective poverty” based on surveys of the HSE in the area such subjective poverty, at the same time when the Respondent assesses their financial situation as bad or very bad and is having difficulty buying food or clothes, got 18.5% of the population according to the June survey. This figure is growing for the second straight month, in may it was estimated at 16.1%, follows from the data of the HSE.

The monitor notes that in June significantly increased the share of pensioners in assessing their financial situation as bad, up to 31% compared to 20-22% in the spring. In addition, negatively assesses their financial situation one in five childless family and more than a third (38%) individuals. The highest risk of poverty are among families with two or more children: 23% of them identified their financial situation bad or very bad.

The self-assessment of affordability the proportion of poor in Russia has exceeded 41%. The monitoring indicated that the extremely poor are families in which there is not enough money even for food. According to the results of the June survey, the extremely poor, consider themselves to be 10% of families.

Strategy savings

Subjective poverty is increasing amid decline in real incomes of Russians. According to Rosstat, real disposable cash incomes in may decreased by 5.7% compared to the same period last year. Compared to the levels of Oct 2014 — last month of growth — the population’s income in real terms has declined by 19.3 per cent, said the HSE.

“The savings on the consumption of goods and services continues to be the most common strategy of adaptation of the population to economic changes,” the study says. According to the may survey, 78% of families save on expenses in the last three months. The biggest concerns among the Russians is a possible increase in the price of goods or loss of savings. Experts note that this trend deteriorated in June, although the dynamics of indicators of statistics does not indicate negative trends in the economy that could stimulate such expectations.

Thus in June has decreased, the percentage of respondents giving a negative forecast for the development of the economic situation. Increased the number of those who believes that the most difficult times in the past (from 19% to 21%). Experts note that the poorer the population group the more pessimistic Outlook of its representatives on the prospects of developments in the country. The expectations index from families with bad or very bad financial situation was 25 points below average, and families, evaluating financial position as good and very good, the index rose 30 points above average.

A protracted decline in revenues has forced the Russians to adapt to the new economic reality and go to the strategy of cautious consumer behaviour. From February to may 2016, the share of savings remains above pre-crisis levels 2012-2013, the population forms a “safety cushion”, the authors of the monitoring. Also the Russians continue to refuse the borrowed funds: the amount of loans given to individuals in real terms continues to decline, and this occurs primarily by narrowing the segment of consumer loans.