Russia's Buying Power On the Rise

Russia has been making the headlines quite a bit in recent weeks, but not for the reason I will discuss today. In spite of all the political static, the Russian people are actually far more confident as consumers, and it's showing in their recent economic data.

Consumer prices have been increasing in Russia, rising by 4.3% year-over-year in March, which was in-line with expectations but below the 4.6% year-over-year reading in the prior month. Meaning that consumer prices are at their lowest levels since June 2012.

On top of that, inflation increased by just 0.1% over the prior month, which was below the 0.2% forecast. For once, this means that the country may be on track to come in-line with the Central Bank's 4.0% target.

For a visualization of what this cycle looks like, check out the chart below. The fluctuations between the core and headline CPI readings. The country is back to levels last seen in 2012.

So what does this all mean? Well for one, clearly something has been in the works as of late 2015 to help boost optimism in the Russian consumer. Interpret that however you want, but one thing appears clear -- President Trump is making ALL of the people in at least one country quite content.

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