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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Most Russians Say Inflation Is Worse Than State Claims

Most Russians think consumer prices rose more than the government admits last year and almost half say the inflation rate was at least double the official figure of 9 percent, according to a new poll.

Sixty percent of the population said prices climbed at least 10 percent and 47 percent said the rate was more than 20 percent, according to the Levada Center, the country's largest independent polling group. Only 17 percent of Russians said prices rose 10 percent or less.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly chastised ministers for missing official inflation targets since coming to power in 2000. Last year was the first year in at least four that the government met its target and the first since the Soviet Union collapsed 15 years ago that prices rose less than 10.9 percent.

Buying habits vary among social groups and the poor are most sensitive to inflation, the Levada Center said on its web site.

Most of those who said inflation was greater than 20 percent were low-income people over the age of 40. Most who said inflation was below 20 percent were young urban professionals and Muscovites in general, the pollster said.

Almost half of the people who said prices rose more than 20 percent said they did not have enough money for food, according to the poll.

Levada surveyed 1,600 people in 128 cities over four days starting Dec. 22. The margin of error was 3.4 percent.