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Average wage in Russia tops $500/month

The average gross monthly wage in Russia in June was 13,810 rubles, that is, more than $500, according to Rosstat, the federal statistics service.

The average for the Q2 was 13,040 rubles, the first time that the average monthly wage in Russia topped $500, with the exception of December 2006. Analysts say that the rising wage would threaten Russia's competitiveness if it remained steady, but they do not expect that to happen. The strengthening of the rubles, which exchanged for 26.5/$ in January and now is at the level of 25.4/$, is largely to thank for reaching the psychologically significant mark. In annual terms, wages are rising by 20-27%, with the June wage being 25% higher than that of June of last year. Wages have risen 60% in the last two years, doubled in the last three years and increased 750% in the last eight years. The per capita rate of growth is somewhat lower. That was 12,200 rubles in June, 18% higher than June of last year, due to the fact that pensions and social benefits are rising significantly slower than wages.

Real wages (adjusted for inflation) were 15.2% higher in June 2007 over June 2006 and 17.5% higher in the H1 of the year over last year's first half. Real disposable income (wages minus obligatory payments adjusted for inflation) rose even less. It was 7.9% this June over last June, and 11.2% The first half of this year over the same period last year.

While wages in Russia are much lower than in Europe and the United States, prices are comparable. Russia lags behind Eastern Europe as well as Western Europe. The Average monthly wage in 2006 in Slovakia was $750, in Hungary $882, in Poland $875, in the Czech Republic $976. In China, last year's average monthly wage was $230. (