VTB PMI index sees growth momentum

The Russian services sector saw renewed momentum in March according to the VTB Purchasing Managers Index.

In March, the PMI registered its first monthly increase for 2010 with 53.6 points, up from 51 in February, but still below the average long term level of 56.7.

“This happened mostly due to growth of new orders for the first time in three months, which caused the highest growth in general business activity since October of last year,” the report says.

Anything above 50 shows growth, while below 50 means a slowdown. According to the report, financial services, real estate and other professional services saw the largest increase in orders. The report also showed that the labour market had shown relative stability with virtually no change from February

“Companies indicating growth in employment attribute it to the increase in the scope of work. The lowering of employment in other companies came as a result of an increase in labour productivity.”

A rise in fuel and energy prices caused an increase in average costs in March. However, inflation growth rates still remain relatively weak, said the report which highlighted a positive outlook.

“Russian suppliers of services remained quite positive in regards to the future of business development for the next 12 months. More than half of the companies surveyed expect a growth in the activity this year, linking these expectations with hopes for broad economic recovery and an issue of new kinds of services.”