Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Russians Flock To Stores To Pre-Empt Price Rises

Via Yahoo! Finance:

Russian consumers flocked to the stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items to pre-empt the price rises kicked off by the staggering fall in the value of the ruble in recent days.

As the government considered ways to ease the selling pressure on the ruble, which has slid 15 percent in just two days and raised fears of a bank run, many Russians were buying cars and home appliances — in some cases in record numbers — before prices for these imported goods shoot higher.

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA already warned Russian consumers that its prices will rise Thursday, which resulted in weekend-like crowds at a Moscow store on a Wednesday afternoon.

Shops selling a broad range of items were reporting record sales — some have even suspended operations, unsure of how far down the ruble will sink.

Apple, for one, has halted all online sales in Russia.

"This is a very dangerous situation, we are just a few days away from a full-blown run on the banks", Russia's leading business daily Vedomosti wrote in an editorial Wednesday.

"If one does not calm down the currency market right now, the banking system will need robust emergency care".

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