Kudrin: Russians' real incomes barely budged in 2018

Kudrin: Russians' real incomes barely budged in 2018

Russians saw virtually no change in their purchasing power as prices outpaced growth estimates in 2018, the country’s chief auditor Alexei Kudrin said.

"Citizens’ real incomes increased by decimal points, if they grew at all," Kudrin tweeted Wednesday.

His office’s preliminary estimate places real inflation-adjusted income at between 0.0% to 0.4%.

The Audit Chamber estimates that Russia’s GDP grew in 2018 at 1.5%, against an official forecast of 1.8 %. According to the Audit Chamber, inflation outpaced forecasts of 2.7%, totaling 4.2%.

"The government has to begin at a low starting point [in 2019]," the Moscow Times cited Kudrin as saying.

Russia’s statistics agency Rosstat is scheduled to publish the annual 2018 figures on Jan. 25.  The agency’s head was replaced in December with government vows to overhaul its data-gathering methods.