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Russia’s manufacturing activity expanded at a softer pace in November, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The IHS Markit Russia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, fell to 51.6 in December from 51.7 in November. A PMI reading above 50 signals expansion in the sector.

Output rose for the fourth consecutive month in December and new orders increased.

Foreign client demand declined for the sixth time in seven months and lead time lengthened at one of the most marked rates since May 2020.

Input prices increased in November, with the rate of cost inflation accelerating to the fastest in five months and the rate of charge inflation rose to the highest in four months.

Stocks of finished goods declined sharply in December and backlogs of work fell at the steepest rate in six months.

“High COVID-19 virus cases and the spread of the Omicron variant, alongside mounting inflationary pressures, are likely to weigh on domestic and foreign client demand thus creating challenges for manufacturers in the opening stages of 2022,” Sian Jones, senior economist at IHS Markit, said.

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