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Russian Consumer Confidence Falls for First Time in Six Quarters

Russian consumer confidence fell in the third quarter for the first time since January-March 2011 as people turned less optimistic about the economic outlook.

The consumer confidence index fell 2 points to minus 6, the weakest since the fourth quarter of last year, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said in a statement e-mailed today.

Russia, where consumer spending accounts for about half the economy, is facing slowing growth after inflation accelerated to a 10-month high in September. The World Bank yesterday cut its forecasts for economic expansion this year and next, citing the country’s weak harvest, global economic turmoil and faster price growth eroding purchasing power.

“A deterioration is likely given the faster inflation, increase in tariffs and the general discussion among the public about a looming crisis,” Dmitry Polevoy, chief economist for Russia and Kazakhstan at ING Groep NV in Moscow, said before the release. “Slower retail sales growth and lending are also indirect indicators that may show some decline in optimism.”

The most significant weight on consumer sentiment was a drop in optimism about the economy in the near term, the service said. That index fell 6 points to minus 2, according to the report.

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