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Social analysts say about growing pessimism in Russian society

January 13, 2014, 12:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Pessimism has been growing in the Russian society: every second Russian believes that over next five years the life in the country will be worse, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes

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MOSCOW, January 13. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Pessimism has been growing in the Russian society: every second Russian believes that over next five years the life in the country will be worse, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Before the crisis, the share of pessimists was by two-three times less, experts of the portal say following their ongoing estimations of the country’s optimism. Economists call the growing pessimism a dangerous tendency, as negative moods cause lower investments, firings, lower revenues and a new wave of pessimism.

In the end of past week, experts of published results of a survey they made in December. The survey was conducted throughout the country’s all regions, and featured 1,800 people. The results show that 57%  believe the life in the country has become worse over recent five years. However, 22% spoke about changes for the better, and about 20% claimed they had not seen any changes.

As for the future, 52% Russians forecasted life in this country would become worse over next five years, while 23% are expecting changes for the better. And 25% did not say there would be any changes whatsoever.

A week earlier, Russia’s oldest polling institution (WCIOM) published results of its poll about expectations for the new year. The survey featured 1,600 people.

WCIOM’s results of the survey demonstrate the situation is not getting worse, it rather improves. Almost every other surveyed (48%) believes the current year will be good for the country. However, the polling institution has always avoided pumping negative sentiments, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

The Levada-Centre polling company, which usually opposes WCIOM, reports growth of negative moods. In late December 2013 the company’s experts asked Russians (1,600 people) to comment on the past year against the previous one. “Tougher than the previous,” 34% chose to say. “Easier,” said 20%. “Nothing different from the previous one,” 46% said.

No matter how different survey results are, economists say the current economic situation emerges many reasons for worries. “Between 2000 and 2007, the growth was very high. Our production growth was among the highest in the world. In those years, the wages in the currency equivalent grew by two-three times quicker than productiveness. And the people could feel it,” deputy director at the Higher School of Economics’ Development Centre Valery Mironov said. Now, the production growth rate has lowered down. The wages growth is slower. New enterprises open only rarely. Thus comes the feeling of stagnation.

The pessimism’s main consequence would be further reduction in consumer lending, the expert forecasts. “This may cause problems for more banks, including medium ones,” Mironov said. The entrepreneurs also share pessimism, thus making an investment surge or lower capital outflow seem doubtful.


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