Russian business confidence soars – S&P Global
Russia’s business activity improved significantly in February, signaling a solid increase in output across the services sector, S&P Global reported on Friday.
The composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) soared to 53.1 from 49.7, indicating expansion in private sector business activity, as a renewed rise in service sector output and a quicker upturn in manufacturing production supported growth. A reading above 50 separates growth from contraction.
The report said that the rise in business activity was linked to stronger client demand, the acquisition of new customers and greater interest from clients amid reduced uncertainty. The increase in output was the first since September 2022, with the rate of expansion the second-fastest since July 2021.
Stronger client demand was in part linked to a more positive outlook for the coming year among customers, as firms also expressed greater optimism for output. At the same time, service providers expanded their staffing numbers for the first time in seven months, in response to the improving business environment.
According to the S&P, service sector firms recorded the sharpest rise in new orders since August 2022, with the rate of expansion solid overall. Cost pressures across the sector softened, as input prices rose at the slowest rate since August 2021 in February.
Russian service providers recorded optimism in the year-ahead outlook for activity for the second successive month in February, the ratings agency wrote. “The degree of confidence surged higher and was the strongest since July 2022, despite being slightly below the series average. Hopes of greater client demand and the introduction of new service lines supported positive expectations,” it concluded.
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