Russia reported record low poverty rates at the end of 2022, with the number of people living below the poverty line falling to 14.3mn, or 9.8% of the population, according to RosStat data.
The figure has not dropped below 10% since 1992. The population was also less differentiated by income levels, with the ratio of the income of the richest 10% to the poorest 10% at the lowest level since 1998, at 13.8 times, reports Vedomosti.
RosStat's regional data indicated that poverty rates rose in only four regions, with Ingushetia showing the highest rate of 30.5%. The greatest decline in poverty was recorded in the Jewish Autonomous Region, where the rate fell by 2.1 percentage points to 20.3%. The poverty rate in Moscow and St Petersburg declined by 0.5% pp to 5% and 4.5% respectively.
The government has set a target of reducing poverty to 6.5% by 2030, with the 2023 goal of 10.1% almost achieved. At a meeting of the deputy prime ministers in March, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova reported that 3.6mn Russians have lifted their incomes above the subsistence level over the past five years.
In related news, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has improved its forecast for inflation and the rate of recovery of the Russian economy in 2023.
The regulator now anticipates GDP growth of 0.5-2%, although back in February it predicted a range of -1% to +1% growth in 2023.
The upper estimate of the range is even more positive than that of the Ministry of Economic Development – they forecast GDP growth at the end of the year by 1.2%. Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, speaking at the educational marathon “Knowledge. First”, estimated economic growth in 2023 at 1-2%, reports Vedomosti.
The CBR also expects inflation to be lower than expected in February – at the level of 4.5-6.5% against 5-7%. The Ministry of Economy predicts price growth at the level of 5.3%.