Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Russian Disposable Income Drops, Inflation Highest Since 1999

Customers visit a home improvement store at the Aviapark shopping center in Moscow. Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

Russia’s war in Ukraine and double-digit inflation drove down real disposable incomes in early 2022, the Rosstat statistics agency reported Wednesday.

Real disposable income, a closely tracked indicator of Russian households’ financial wellbeing, calculates the amount residents have left to spend or save after payments.

According to Rosstat, Russian households spent 17.1 trillion rubles ($231 billion) while only earning 15.82 trillion rubles ($213 billion) in January-March this year.

The 1.3 trillion ruble difference — an average of 14 billion rubles ($188 million) a day — amounts to a 1.2% drop in annual terms.

The main factor weighing on Russians’ savings was annual consumer inflation jumping by 9.2% in February and 16.7% in March, a rate not seen since 1999, according to the independent business news website The Bell.

Russians’ real disposable income last fell in the first quarter of pandemic-hit 2021, according to the RBC news website.

Rosstat’s figures came out the day Russia’s Audit Chamber chief Alexei Kudrin forecast 20% inflation and an economic decline of up to 12% this year.

"This crisis is bigger than the crisis of 2009, bigger than the pandemic crisis.," Kudrin told lawmakers.

"We will be living in a very difficult situation for almost a year and a half or two years."

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.