Staunton, Dec. 27 – The level of optimism among Russians about the future of their national economy is now lower than it was even during the difficult years of the late 1990s, according to a new ROMIR poll (romir.ru/studies/ekonomicheskiy-optimizm-rossiyan-vyros-vdvoe-no-pessimistov-po-prejnemu-znachitelno-bolshe).
Only one Russian in nine – 11 percent – say that they expect that the economy will improve in 2022. A quarter – 24 percent – say they do not expect any significant change. But the majority – 53 percent – say that the expect a new round of “economic difficulties” that could leave them and their country in even more severe straits.
The share expressing pessimism has risen six percent since last year as the pandemic has ground on, inflation reaches double digit levels, and the economy is stagnating at best, those examining the results of this survey say. And they note that only once before – in 2013 – had the gap between optimists and pessimists been larger and then only by one point.
That last observation is important because it suggests that Russian attitudes about the economy also reflect feelings about the political leadership. In 2013, Russians were exercised by election fraud and by the Putin-Medvedev swap even more than by economic difficulties of that time.
Moreover, the Russians are not just more pessimistic than they were; they are more pessimistic than the 40 of the 43 other countries the Gallup polling organization has just surveyed on optimism about the future.
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