HSBC and Markit released Russian PMIs for December, showing deteriorating conditions in Russian economy, as expected, given the severe Ruble crisis that hit mid-December.
Manufacturing activity posted a reading of 48.9 which is down from 51.7 in November, signalling a switch from a rather average growth to a contraction. December reading was close to being statistically significant for a sharp decline. Q4 2014 average Manufacturing PMI was at 50.3 which is better than Q4 2013 reading of 50.0 and worse than Q4 2012 reading of 51.7. But December figure breaks three consecutive months of above 50.0 readings and Q4 2014 reading is now below Q3 2014 average of 50.8.
Services PMI continued sub-50 print for the third consecutive month, coming in at 45.8 in December. Q4 2014 showed sharp deterioration in Services compared to Q3 2014 (50.2), as well as compared to Q4 2013 (53.0) and Q4 2012 (56.8).
Composite PMI fell to 47.2 in December from already weak 47.6 in November, marking third consecutive month of sub-50 readings. Q4 2014 average is at 48.0, far worse than Q3 2014 average of 51.1 and well below Q4 2013 average (51.1) and Q4 2012 average (52.7).
Overall, as chart above clearly shows, the downward trend in Russian economic activity across all sectors, the trend that set in around November 2012 and started flashing signals of recessionary dynamics around Q4 2013, remains in place.