Support The Moscow Times!

Retail Sales Disappoint Expectations

Russian retail sales slowed in October after the unemployment rate rose for the first time in three months and a weaker ruble eroded purchasing power.

Retail sales gained 8.8 percent from a year earlier after a 9.2 percent rise in September, the State Statistics Service said in an e-mailed statement Friday. Real wages advanced 5 percent from a revised 5.3 percent growth, and disposable incomes increased 0.4 percent. The jobless rate jumped to 6.4 percent last month from 6 percent in September.

The world's largest energy exporter is counting on domestic consumption to balance shrinking demand abroad as Europe, its biggest trading partner, fights to contain a debt crisis. The ruble fell 13 percent against the dollar in the July-September period in its worst quarterly depreciation since 2009. Household-lending growth slowed to 2.2 percent from a month earlier in October, compared with a 3.6 percent advance in September, according to the Central Bank.

"Purchasing power is shrinking as ruble depreciation hurts people's ability to buy," Maria Pomelnikova, an analyst at Raiffeisenbank in Moscow, said late last week. "Usually the currency effect appears after two or three months. We probably saw its impact on consumer behavior already in October, even though inflation remains low."

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more