Russia’s Manufacturing Conditions Slightly Improved in April: IHS Markit

Operating conditions for Russian manufacturers registered a moderate improvement in April on the back of growing production and a strong increase in client demand, but activity slowed from March, which saw the strongest increase in manufacturing in the last two years, according to IHS Markit’s Russia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted stood at 51.8 in April, down from 52.8 in March, but above the 50 no-change mark.

February was a particularly strong month for Russia’s manufacturers. Industrial production surged by 4.1 percent but then dropped back to 1.2 percent in March. The manufacturing PMI was also mostly flat in February at 50.1 but then surged in March to 52.8. The PMI index in the servicing sector was a lot stronger at 54.4 in March.

“Russian manufacturers registered a moderate improvement in operating conditions in April, supported by a solid rise in production and a strong increase in client demand. Domestic markets drove the upturn in sales, with new export orders unchanged from March,” IHS Markit said in a press release.

All-in-all, while Russia’s manufacturing sector has returned to growth, it has failed to build up substantial momentum as economic growth in general remains weak and constrained by the lack of structural reforms.

“Production across the Russian manufacturing sector increased at a solid pace in April, albeit at a slightly softer rate than that seen in March. The upturn stemmed from greater new order book volumes and stronger client demand. The increase in output was the second-fastest since January 2018,” the press release adds.