Almost 40% of Russians are not able to adapt to the crisis. To such conclusion analysts of the Institute for social analysis and forecasting (INSAP) of Ranepa on the basis of a survey of 3,000 people conducted over 2017. The study is published in the March issue of “Monitoring the economic situation in Russia.” By calculations of economists of the Institute, a high level of adaptive capability, only 20,4% of the population, an average of 40.4% and a low of 39.2%.
At risk were primarily elderly, residents of villages and small towns, people without higher education, workers with different skills, ordinary workers of trade and consumer services, as well as the unemployed. The crisis of recent years had a negative impact on the welfare of almost half of them (47,5%). On the improvement of material security reported only one in ten. Experts indicate that if the economic situation does not improve, the situation for these populations are even more affected, and poverty will continue to expand.
The problem is almost half of Russians is that they lack the necessary resources, which could play the role of a safety cushion in the event of a crisis. Such resources include high income, savings, a second home that you can sell or rent, as well as demand professional education and, last but not least, the developed social connections. But, as calculated in INSEP, only 20.4% of Russians can use these resources fully and possess adaptive capacity.
It is, as a rule, people younger than 45 years with higher education, living in towns and cities and working on the positions of managers and highly qualified specialists. Unlike the previous category, the financial situation deteriorated only 32% of them and 31%, in contrast, reported improved well-being.
In General, according to the study INSEP, over the last 2-3 years 37% of Russians didn’t even try to adapt to the crisis — they simply did not have the resources for it. As a result, they began to take the money. In the fall of 2017, the percentage of respondents that occupy from relatives and friends increased from 40 to 60%, and those who buy on credit, from 12 to 22%. However, as the authors of the study, the debt accumulation is not an adequate adaptation strategy, and the only way to survive.
“Free press” already wrote about the fact that incomes are growing slower credits. The annual rate of growth of unsecured consumer credit in December 2017 has reached 11,1%, while nominal wages increased by only 7.2% and revenues by 1.1%.
More enterprising part of the population tried to use other exit strategies from the crisis. For example, to invest more and to save (although most had to spend accumulated) and look for a part-time job, a job with a higher income or to start their own business projects. Savings and purchase of cheaper products had a short-term effect, because at a certain stage to compress intake was nowhere.
In General, estimates of the Institute in all ways, to adapt to the crisis tried to only 29% of Russians. Another 23% also worked in his household — people began to grow more vegetables and fruits, raise poultry in their area.
At the same time as summarize the study’s authors, “active adaptive behavior significantly increases life chances but does not guarantee improving living standards. So, from those who are implementing an active adaptation strategy and 18.4% expect in the future increase the material status, 12.4% expect deterioration”.
As you know, real disposable income (RRD) of Russians declining for four consecutive years. In January, 2018 this regrettable trend continued, although initially analysts Rosstat excluded in their calculations a one-time payment of 5,000 rubles “for comparability of data”. But even in this case, the income showed no growth and remained at zero. After the inclusion of payments statistics, it appears that the ECD decreased by 7% compared to the same period of 2017. In Ranepa has estimated that the poverty rate rose from 10.7% in 2012 to 13.8% in September 2017.
Director of the Institute of contemporary economy Ivan Antropov is convinced that if the crisis continues, and it is a very likely scenario, judging from current economic indicators, the population is unlikely to learn to adapt to it. On the contrary, still remaining a small margin of safety may come to an end. And although the Russians with high adaptive capacity are able to successfully cope with the crisis, the overall picture will correspond to the scenario of “the poor get poorer, the rich get richer”.
Is the probability that in case of continuation of the crisis people will have some adaptation instruments is very low, and count on it not worth it. In November 2014, declining real disposable incomes, which has been hit hard in its material position. Accordingly, even if many realized the need of personal savings for a rainy day, they just don’t have the physical ability to build one.
Also in our country there are some problems with the flexibility of people in adapting to new professions. Since Soviet times, historically, that person gets a new job and trying to deal with it practically all my life. The process of relearning to other skills we have not delivered in a big way, in terms of educational programs, and few people aspire to it. Trying to get through the hard time they would rather go on your plot of six acres something to grow, what will change profession is more in demand and well paid.
“SP”: — what will this situation, if the income of the population starts to grow in the coming months?
— All this is likely to lead to a further reduction of demand and consumption. In 2017 the demand in money terms remained approximately at the same level compared with 2016. But this is because for too long people have saved, and the time has come when it is time to update many household items, appliances, clothing.
However, this wave will subside pretty soon, which could lead to a new decline in consumption. He, in turn, will entail another failure of production and income. Of course, all this may have a negative impact on the economy.
Will need another large cash infusion to fix the situation. And to ensure that they can be either sharp depreciation of the ruble, which will help to replenish the budget or the substantial buildup of external debt and increased debt. Moreover, this process will go as part of the population, which will continue to take more loans, and from government agencies.
“SP”: — Can the state support 40% of the population that are unable to adapt to the crisis?
— The state has many different levers to influence the situation. During the last presidential address he gave to understand that the emphasis will be on support for the poorest segments of the population. Most likely, some steps in this direction can be expected after the election, but they will be limited subsidies or private payments.
Significant support to the poor does not count, because we have no stable income of the Federal budget, which could help to Finance all this. In January, more than 50% of Federal budget revenues occurred in the oil and gas sector. That is, by and large, in our economy, nothing has changed. There are high oil prices — have the income budget, no expensive oil, no income and, consequently, opportunities to support vulnerable people.
Therefore, the government should take efforts and create a long-promised strategy of socio-economic development, which would be taking large structural reforms, support of entrepreneurship, reducing the financial burden and the tax burden. All this would help to support the business, and the salaries of people who make up a large part of the income of the population. Only when incomes finally starting to rise, people will be able to take some measures in order to protect themselves in case of recurrence of the crisis and the collapse of the economy, to create the same adaptive capacity.