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Most Russians Fear New Economic Downturn, Poll Says

The majority of Russians are concerned about the onset of a new economic crisis but have taken few steps to prepare for the prospect of hard times ahead, a poll released Monday showed.

Pollsters from state-run VTsIOM found that 58 percent of those surveyed harbored fears of another downturn, while 85 percent had made no preparations for a worsening economic outlook, Interfax reported.

Among poll respondents, those most troubled by the country's economic fate were people with low incomes (66 percent) and those close to retirement age (65 percent). A more optimistic assessment was given by people with mid-to-high income levels (40 percent to 42 percent) and youth (49 percent).

When asked to give a shorter-term prediction, 44 percent said they felt the next 12 months would see declining economic indicators. This compares with 32 percent in March who predicted a worsening economy.

VTsIOM pollsters consulted 1,600 respondents in the survey, which was conducted in June in 43 of Russia's 83 federal subjects. No margin of error was cited for the poll in the Interfax report.

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