At The Store

As the ruble continues to slide, the Russian Central Bank’s (and the Kremlin’s) biggest fear is still inflation. That is, how will the so-called “average” Russian be impacted when going to the store. Slon Magazine recently did an experiment to see how Russians are being impacted at the store:

Despite its importance, inflation is quite an abstract indicator. Therefore, Russians, looking at the regular report of Rosstat [the Federal State Statistics Service], which reported an increase in consumer prices of 13% over the past year, can only smile sadly: the feelings of individual families, their consumer basket rose by half to two times.

Slon Magazine decided to take a different route and took as much as possible from one particular store. Using the data, which was provided by the company “MonitorTsen”, we compared the prices of the same goods in January 2016 and January 2014 at the store “Crossroads” on Tishinskaya Square in central Moscow. Our “consumer basket” in does not claim representativeness in any way: for the purity of the experiment we excluded fruits and vegetables.

“Fruits and vegetables are difficult to compare. Potatoes, roughly speaking, can cost anywhere from 5-100 rubles,” said the Director of Development at “MonitorTsen” Sergei Ipatov corresponding with Slon.

I won’t go through every single item on Slon’s list, but in all, their “basket” of goods rose by 1901.80 rubles or by 35%.

As a result, a person capable of traveling back in time to two years ago – to Russia to Crimea, the Olympics, the sanctions, and the collapse in oil prices – could save 1900 rubles from 7409, in which he will manage the food set today. Rising prices of our consumer basket over two years is 35% — this was a fun way to prove close to the Federal State Statistics Service [Rosstat], which averaged 32% increase in food prices over the same period.

Biggest increases: chicken (+100% in 2 years), sugar (+89%), “Doshirak” soluble noodles (+77%), Finn Crisp rye crackers (+77%), herring (71%), buckwheat (71%). Red Bull rose the least (just 7%), and “Riga noble” bread even fell slightly (-2%).

You can also compare Slon’s research to what Ilya Varlamov found at his local supermarket back in August.

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