The Analytical Center experts write about a decline in the paid public services sector in their bulletin of the socio-economic crisis in Russia, the Kommersant newspaper reports. At the same time, as the share of key services such as housing utilities and transport falls, the Russians are spending more on paid medical services.
The amount of paid public services fell not as sharply in the developed and medium-developed regions
The authors of the report note that the current crisis has had a negative impact on the paid public services sector in all Russian regions except for the less developed ones. Early 2015 saw a decline in the amount of paid services in the highly developed regions (negative 3% on the same period of 2014) but by late 2015 the sector began to show first signs of recovery there. The amount of paid public services fell less sharply in developed and medium-developed regions, but it keeps falling in 2016. “This has to do with the structure of household income because in those regions the share of mandatory payments such as utility bills is pretty high and people cannot exactly curtail their consumption there,” Alexander Golyashev, the Analytical Center expert, commented on the situation to Kommersnant. But the main items that people spend money on with regard to paid services are roughly the same across all regions, he noted.
As for the increase in prices for paid services, the maximum growth (20%) was seen in the housing utility services (state and municipal rent, maintenance and repairs of private apartments, building running costs). In 2015, the average annual price of transport services went up by 10.7%. The average annual increase in prices of communications has not exceeded 5% since 2008 and this rate of increase has not changed in the time of the current crisis.