Russian manufacturing activity rose slightly in March, but remained below its long-term average, as growth in new orders and production slowed down. This is clear from the PMI index quoted by Reuters.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in the country in March slightly rose to 50.6 points from the reported 50.2 points in February, thus managing to stay above the 50-point line that divides the expansion of the manufacturing sector from its contraction.
“The survey data in March shows a slight improvement in the manufacturing sector and production and new orders are growing at a slower pace,” said IHS Markit associate economist, Sian Jones. He explained that although production declined for the second month in a row, business confidence remained strong.
Production levels continued to grow in March, although the rate of increase was the slowest in five months. At the same time, the increase in the number of new orders is the lowest in the last 20 months since mid-2016, with the increase in export orders remaining stable.
On this background, the spending has risen at the fastest pace since last October, driven by higher commodity prices.
The employment in the manufacturing sector is slightly shrinking. A weaker supplier activity has led to the slightest decline in stocks since May 2012.
The data for the Purchasing Managers’ Index in Russia is based on a survey among 300 companies in the manufacturing sector.