This is what's happened to the Russian rouble

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 17 December 2014 14:50
news

Russia's currency, the rouble, is in freefall - presenting severe implications for the country's economic and political systems.

Despite the country's central bank raising interest rates to 17 per cent yesterday, the price of the currency has plummeted and the country is at threat of being plunged into deep recession.

This below chart shows the rouble's decline in value, compared to the US dollar, over the past 12 months. One rouble on 17 December 2013 would have bought you $0.030, today it will buy you just $0.015 - its price has effectively halved.

This is the value of the rouble over the last 12 months...

(Source: Yahoo Finance)

This is the value of the rouble over the last eight years...

(Source: MACROBOND)

The decline in the rouble began this time last year with the start of the revolution in Ukraine. Russia's annexation of Crimea and alleged subsequent involvement in the Donbass region saw the EU impose banking and energy sanctions on the country.

A recent global fall in the price of oil - one of Russia's main exports - from above $100 a barrel to $60 in the past six months (see below) has further exacerbated the problem. In the top chart you can see the price of the rouble steadily decreasing since the end of June, correlating with the price of oil.

Global oil prices over the last four years...

(Source: MACROBOND)

Efforts to sell foreign currency reserves and raise interest rates have failed to halt fluctuations in the market and the prices of staple goods continue to rise.

Which effectively means the state of the rouble is thus...

Financial Times

The Independent's Mary Dejevsky says the omens look bleak but believes if public confidence in the government can be held in check then the economy may be able to ride out its crisis - Mr Putin's approval rating is still around the 80 per cent mark, so this is a possibility.

The Independent's economics editor Ben Chu has analysed six charts which explain why the Russian economy is in freefall.

You can also read the Independent's latest coverage of the rouble crisis - "Russia's long night ahead" - here.

More: You'll never guess who Russia's man of the year is (actually you might)

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