Manufacturing Activity in Russia Declines for Eight Straight Months

Challenging demand conditions led Russian manufacturing activity to decline in December for the eighth straight month, the Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed on Monday.

The index’s headline reading rose to 47.5 from 45.6 the previous month, which was its lowest level in over a decade. Values over 50 represent expansion, while levels below the mark show decline in the sector. The pace of contraction slowed in December along with a drop in new orders.

“The Russian manufacturing sector remained in the doldrums at the end of 2019, with December data further extending the current run of deteriorating manufacturing health,” said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

Output expectations were muted in December, with the degree of confidence at the second-lowest level for over two years, as respondents cited lackluster global and domestic demand.

“Meanwhile, muted business confidence weighed further on hiring decisions, as firms reduced their workforce numbers for the fifth straight month,” Jones said.

“The decrease in new business softened in December, but was still solid overall. A slump in client demand continued to drive new order volumes down both domestically and globally, with new business from abroad falling for the eighth month running,” Markit said.

Still, the manufacturing sector in Russia expects output to rise over the next 12 months, the global information provider added.