Since the onset of the crisis, 14 million people have moved from the middle class to the lower-income class, as their expenses have grown faster than salaries, says a study by Sberbank Investment Research. According to the statistics presented, the share of Russians who consider themselves to be the middle class has declined over the past two years from 61% to 51%.
Since January this year, the average wage growth has been 1,6%. Inflation, according to Rosstat, gained 4,1% over this period. Thus, the fall in real income for two years amounted to about 15%, the study says. The shrinking middle class is putting pressure on the consumption of goods that are not essential. Demand for basic consumer goods decreased - residential real estate, household appliances, cars.
Traditionally, devaluation involves an influx of investors and the development of production, but this does not happen in the context of sanctions and uncertain economic prospects. As a result, industries such as clothing or footwear could not rise so much that import substitution developed, experts say.