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Almost Half of Russian Families Can Afford Only Food, Clothing

A woman waits for a bus at a bus stop in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Almost Half of Russian Families Can Afford Only Food, Clothing
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Almost half of all Russian families say they have enough money only for food and clothing. They say they cannot buy other things they need for their houses, such as furniture and appliances. In other words, they can buy short-term items but not long-term items.

Media reports say the information comes from a survey of 48,000 households by the state agency Rosstat. Russian media company RBK said a little more than 48 percent of families did not have money to buy smartphones or refrigerators. However, that number is an improvement – last year, almost 50 percent said the same thing.

Young families and older people who do not work were most likely to say they could not pay for more than food and clothing.

Economic troubles have damaged the public image of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In Putin’s first years as president, in 2000 to 2008, the country’s economy was growing quickly. High prices for Russia’s oil and gas exports helped create that growth.

Now, lower oil prices and restrictions by Western countries have slowed economic growth. The West ordered the restrictions to punish Russia for its interference in Ukraine, and other actions.

A recent government study found that more than 65 percent of Russians say they approve of Putin’s actions as president.

The study also found that public trust had dropped. About 32 percent of Russians said they trust Putin’s ability to resolve important problems facing the country. That is the lowest percentage he has received since 2006.

I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.

Kelly Jean Kelly adapted this story for Learning English based on a report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Caty Weaver was the editor.


Words in This Story

furniture - n. chairs, tables, beds, etc., that are used to make a room ready for use

appliance - n. a machine (such as a stove, microwave, or dishwasher) that is powered by electricity and that is used in people's houses to perform a particular job

refrigerator - n. a device that is used to keep food and drinks cold