Russian Manufacturing PMI (based on HSBC/Markit data) improved from 47.6 in January (sharp contraction that is marked by a statistically significant sub-50 reading) to 49.7 in February (also contractionary, but at a much weaker rate and statistically not significantly different fro 50.0).
According to Markit release, "Russian manufacturing business conditions deteriorated only fractionally in February, as stronger domestic demand drove an increase in new work and production rose slightly. The latest HSBC PMI® data compiled by Markit also signalled weaker – but still severe – inflationary pressures during the month, reflecting the ruble’s recovery from record lows. That said, overall growth of new orders was weak as new export business continued to decline sharply, and employment extended a survey-record sequence of decline to 20 months."
This marks third consecutive month of sub-50 readings, with 3mo average through February 2015 standing at 48.7, weaker than 50.8 3mo average through November 2014, but somewhat better than 3mo average of 48.4 recorded for the 3 months through February 2013. So year on year rate of decline in Manufacturing activity slowed down, but conditions remain weak and are still close to weakening.