Russians were the most intensely anxious consumers among the eight countries JWT surveyed earlier this year. They feel that Russia is suffering the most in this global recession, ahead of the U.S.
Our most recent AnxietyIndex, which you can download here, finds that 84 percent of Russian consumers say they are anxious, and 38 percent of those express intense anxiety.
Memories of the ’98 financial crisis are still top-of-mind. And most Russians believe this crisis will be long-lasting. Still, they see the mass media as exaggerating the crisis’ influence and stirring aggravation and anxiety.
There’s a panicked mood among circles of friends and colleagues, and for good reason: With layoffs and salary cuts, Russians are seeing a reduction in their household income even as the cost of products and services continues to climb—prices are two to three times higher in Moscow than in other European capitals. (Only petroleum has become a little cheaper with the crisis.) As a result, the country is seeing major cutbacks in consumer spending and a crime wave. One thing Russians aren’t too panicked about, however, is losing or changing jobs.