World Economy

Rising Prices Dent Putin’s Popularity

Rising Prices Dent Putin’s PopularityRising Prices Dent Putin’s Popularity

Russians’ concern about rising prices has eroded President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings but these remain extremely high, the daily Vedomosti reported on Friday, Reuters said. It cited a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation as showing that 72% of Russians would have voted for Putin in August, down from 76% in May. Another poll, by the Levada Center, showed that in August 83% of Russians approved of the president’s actions, down from an all-time high of 89% in May. The paper quoted experts as saying the fall reflected public dissatisfaction about prices during the summer, when many regulated prices such as utility and transport charges are raised. Putin’s popularity ratings remain extremely high by both international and historical standards, boosted by his response to political upheaval in Ukraine last year. Consumer price inflation was 15.6% in July, having hit a 13-year high of 16.9% in March after a slump in the ruble caused by a collapse in oil prices and western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.