Russians put economy, inflation on top of most pressing national problems

Economy, inflation, and low living standards are the top three most pressing problems in Russia.

Economy, inflation, and low living standards are the top three most pressing problems in Russia.

AP
The economy was the number one problem in the January rating

The economy, inflation, and low living standards have been viewed by the public as the top three most pressing problems in Russia, for the past six months, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) has said.

The economy was the number one problem in the January rating. Concerns about economic affairs started growing in November 2015, (17 percent) and have now reached 23 percent (the same as a year ago). The center polled 1,600 people in 130 populated localities in 46 regions on January 23-24.

Concerns grew the most about the price increase: 12 percent said that inflation was the worst problem in December, and the rate increased to 20 percent in January (22 percent a year ago).

Thirteen percent of respondents mentioned low salaries and living standards amongst problems for the past three months.

Other problems are unemployment (12 percent in January vs. 7 percent in November 2015), social policy (9 percent vs. 4 percent), foreign policy (7 percent vs. 12 percent in December 2015), healthcare and education (7 percent in each poll), breakdown of agriculture and industries (6 percent), low pensions and pension reform (5 percent).

Not a single respondent mentioned the hostilities in Ukraine in the January poll, compared to 6 percent of such respondents a year ago. Yet, military operations in Syria were added to the list (4 percent in January). The 'ruble collapse' was not on the problem list in the beginning of 2016 either (5 percent of respondents voiced such concerns in January of last year).

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