News >> Bloomberg: cheaper ruble, bigger profits?!

Bloomberg: cheaper ruble, bigger profits?!

The weaker currency has hit consumers hard but helped oil producer.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the freeing of the ruble for the first time in its post-Soviet history. Runaway inflation eroded consumers' purchasing power. The resulting drop in wages and disposable income has been so dramatic as to make more Russians destitute. As it has done so many times in its history, the Russian labor market adapts to hard times by cutting salaries and reducing the number of work hours rather than laying off workers.

However, Russia's key oil producers have benefited from the weakening currency (see the chart) thanks to the tax system and the fact their costs are mainly in rubles and their revenue is in foreign currencies. It's helped counter their losses from the slump in crude. The government is now considering a windfall tax on oil and gas companies for next year, which would limit oil exporters' benefits from the ruble’s devaluation.