Russia’s currency on Tuesday slipped 3% to below 63.5 rubles to the dollar as falling oil prices threaten to unwind the government’s efforts to defend the currency.
The collapse of the ruble is causing price inflation throughout Russia. Inflation is running at 10%, according to The New York Times. Russian shopkeepers can’t update their price lists fast enough and are telling shoppers to come back later when they’ve put up more-expensive price tags on staple goods. The most extreme example? It’s leading to a cheese shortage, The Times says:
A variety of goods — from basmati rice to imported hard cheeses — have simply vanished, leaving consumers with fewer and less desirable choices.
Sausages are in short supply, too, the BBC says:
It’s not just inflation that is influencing the festive shop in Russia. So are the “anti-sanctions” Moscow imposed on the West earlier this year. As a result, certain imported products which may have graced some new year tables here in the past are no longer available: like French cheese, Norwegian salmon, German sausage.