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Business & Finance

Russia factory activity growth near two-year peak in Feb

  • The sharpest jump in employment in two years supported the headline figure even as exports continued to fall.
Published March 1, 2021

MOSCOW: Russian manufacturing activity expanded in February at its fastest pace in almost two years as growth in output and new orders accelerated despite challenging external demand conditions, a business survey showed on Monday.

IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.5 last month from 50.9 in January, marking the highest reading since April 2019 and moving further above the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

"Russian manufacturing firms continued to signal a promising start to 2021, as operating conditions improved for the second month running," said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

Supplier shortages and increased transportation costs pushed input prices higher, but firms responded by passing on the burden to clients, with the fastest rise in charges in six years.

The sharpest jump in employment in two years supported the headline figure even as exports continued to fall.

Business confidence returned to levels last seen in January 2020, before the effects of COVID-19 were felt, with optimism stemming from hopes for an end to the pandemic.

"Our current forecast expects industrial production to rise 4.1% in 2021, as the sector seeks to recover from the downturn seen in 2020," said Jones.

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