From the bright and joyful displays on Red Square, it’s hard to tell that anyone is worried about possible economic troubles ahead. It’s clear in Moscow’s retail districts that some people are doing well. I don’t plan to economize. This is a planned holiday for which the budget has already been allocated without any real economy.

But in shopping for the biggest feasts of the year, not all are spending with abandon. Some, especially among Russia’s estimated 40 million pensioners, are worried about having enough money in the New Year. I see that the situation among the ordinary people is not getting better. I wish someone would think more about the pensioner. Those concerns are not unfounded in an economy that analysts describe as contradictory.

Despite the fact that we have economic growth, we have had four years’ slump in real incomes. Here is one more Russian paradox: High salaries, drawing salaries and decreasing real incomes. This is all because of quite big shadow sector but black economy, without an official taxation. Analysts predict an overall drop in spending this holiday season due to international sanctions and government policies that include higher taxes and rising interest rates. The direction of the economy in 2019 will be crucial for President Vladimir Putin, whose supporters mostly live away from the glitz of the capital. For Russians, this is a chance to eat, drink and prepare for whatever the New Year brings.

Pete Cobus in Moscow, Faith Lapidus VOA News.





来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.0577trader.com/19/01/Normal05095835eb.html