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Russian Consumer Confidence Rises to Highest Level Since 2008

July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Russian consumers were more optimistic in the second quarter than at any time in almost four years as people reported improvements in the country’s economy and their own finances.

The consumer confidence index rose 1 point to minus 4, the highest since the third quarter of 2008, when the measure peaked at plus 1, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said in an e-mailed statement today.

Consumer spending, which accounts for half of Russia’s gross domestic product, helped protect growth in the world’s biggest energy exporter as the global economic turmoil sapped demand abroad. Surging wages and retail lending, coupled with a drop in unemployment to 5.4 percent, creates a risk of overheating, according to VTB Capital.

“The strong performance from fixed capital investments and household consumption might prove unsustainable later this year due to tighter monetary policy and the lower confidence of economic agents,” Maxim Oreshkin and Daria Isakova, analysts at VTB in Moscow, said in a note before the release.

An index of consumers’ outlook for the economy was unchanged in the second quarter at 4, while a measure of perceptions that had already occurred rose two points to minus 1, the service said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Rose in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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