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Russian Real Incomes Drop 11.5% in May

Russians saw their real incomes fall by 11.5 percent in May compared to the previous month, the Rosstat state statistics service reported Monday.

In annual terms, real incomes fell by 5.7 percent in May, Rosstat said. Real wages shrank by 1 percent year-on-year in May.

Rosstat data also showed that the fall in retail trade accelerated last month, dropping by 6.1 percent year-on-year to 2.2 trillion rubles ($35 billion).

The Russian economy, hit by Western sanctions and weak oil prices, contracted by 3.7 percent in 2015. The slump continued this year, contracting by 1.4 percent in the first three months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, the Interfax news agency reported, citing Russia’s Economic Development Ministry.

The sharp fall in incomes forces Russians cut their spending even on necessary items. According to a poll conducted by market research company Romir, 43 percent of Russians had to slash spending on food over the past year and 31 percent said they cut down spending on shoes and clothes, the Vedomosti newspaper reported in April.

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