Staunton, Mar. 16 – The collapse of the ruble exchange rate against the dollar and euro since the beginning of Putin’s war in Ukraine is likely to have a very negative attitude on how Russians behave economically in the future and also on how they view conditions in their country more generally.
That conclusion is suggested by a Levada Center study of the ways in which macroeconomic indicators like the price of oil, exchange rates and inflation had on Russian behavior and attitudes between 2009 and February 2022, just before the invasion (levada.ru/2022/03/16/makropokazateli-i-vospriyatie-grazhdanami-ekonomicheskoj-i-politicheskoj-situatsii-v-rossii/).
The Center’s sociologists concluded that exchange rates, that is the value of the ruble as measured in terms of foreign currencies, had the greatest influence on how Russians decided to save or purchase durable goods and also on how they rated the overall situation in the economy. They said there was no reason to think that this relationship had changed since.
To the extent that is the case, the decline in the exchange rate of the dollar may remain a far better predictor of the behavior and attitudes of Russians than the rising price of oil or even the level of inflation, two measures that many in Russia and the West have been devoting more attention to.