People do not share the authorities' enthusiasm over Russia's financial situation. More people expect cuts in salaries and dismissals, according to a poll conducted by Levada-Center.
It is believed that almost two-thirds of Russians feel a strong influence of the economic crisis on their daily lives. Fifty-eight percent of Russians feel negative repercussions of the financial crisis on their personal lives, which is 9% more than a year ago, according to the poll by Levada-Center.
The poll shows that the number of people expecting pay cuts in the coming weeks rose from October's 5% to 7%, while the number of those expecting cuts in the coming months rose from 14% to 16%. The percentage of people who believe that their salaries will not diminish fell from 47% to 44%.
A third of Russians have three or more friends or relatives who lost their jobs recently (29%). Seven percent of Russians worry that they might get fired in the next few weeks and 19% - in the next few months. The number of those who fear that situation with jobs could get even worse increased to 39% in February as opposed to January's 34%.
Russian authorities, however, beam optimism. Industrial production rose by 7.8% and GDP - by 5.2% in January 2010, compared to January 2009, which is better than was expected, according to Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrey Klepach.
Gazeta.ru writes that the pessimistic feelings in the society are not accidental, considering the five-week rise of unemployment in the country, which now officially stands at 6.8 million people or 9.2% of the economically active population.
Experts differ when explaining a discrepancy between the views of the population and the authorities. The CEO of Stolichnaya Financial Corporation Pavel Ginnel told Gazeta.ru that popular sentiments were connected not to the real condition of the economy, but rather to personal experience of people. He said that the number of positive examples is not enough to create an upbeat mood and that the long winter strengthened depressive feelings.
Nikita Krichevsky, a PhD in economics from the National Strategy Institute and TV host has a different opinion. "All the macroeconomic factors are only growing on paper, but nothing is happening in real life. The government should tell more truth." He suggested that the authorities could use populist measures if they wanted to increase the public expectations. "There is no need to invent anything, there is such a notion - populism. It does not cost the authorities anything to reign in a few oligarchs and make them invest in Russian assets or to change someone in the government."