Utilities Russia’s Worst Nightmare

The critical situation in the housing and utilities sector is Russia’s most pressing problem with inflation only coming second, a pollster said on Monday.

Over 55 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion on Social and Economic Issues said housing and utilities tariffs were their main concern, accounting for one-tenth of an average household’s budget and constantly growing.

Experts forecast electricity prices will rise 12-15 percent by July 2013, heating prices will be up 8-10 percent, and natural gas prices will keep growing at a rate of 15 percent a year.

Inflation comes second among Russian concerns, followed by the spread of drugs and corruption.

Around half of respondents said they were concerned by inflation-related problems, up from 44 percent at the start of this past summer.

Living standards appear to be the last on the list of Russians’ five top pressing issues.


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