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Inflation Gets in Way of Investment Boom

February 19, 2008 | www.komersant.com

The share of savings in the public's income is continuing to fall, while the consumption and repayment of bank credits is growing. The decreasing role of personal savings in investment is a matter of concern for economists. They are hoping that savings will increase when inflation is brought down.
According to statistics from Rosstat, the Russian public spent 46.6 percent of its income in December 2007 on the purchase of goods. Another 13 percent went into savings, and 13.2 percent was spent on mandatory payments (utilities, taxes, interest payments, etc.). One year earlier, those indicators were 45.1%, 14.1% and 10.6%, respectively. when government savings are considered, the figure rises to about 30 percent, Deutsche Bank analyst Yaroslav Lisovolik noted. In Asia, savings usually run at 40-50 percent, and mainly on account of individual savers.

Inflation is the main reason for reduced savings. The instruments available for savings – deposits, securities and dollars – do not always protect from inflation. Only certain undependable banks pay 12 percent interest on deposits now. Increasingly strict rules for crediting are also forcing people to dip into their savings more often. Finally, dedollarization processes have made hard currency savings less attractive as well.

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