Russian Manufacturing PMI (Markit & HSBC) for March came in with new disappointment: the indicator slipped to 48.1 from 49.7 in February. This marks the second lowest reading in the series since June 2009 (the lowest reading since June 2009 was recorded in January this year at 47.6).
from Markit release: "production and new business both recorded mild declines. Employment also fell, but at a weaker rate with consumer goods producers recording modest growth. There was some positive news on the inflation front, as input and output prices continued to rise, but to much slower degrees than seen at the start of the year".
Overall trend toward deepening contraction in the Manufacturing remains:
Ironically, February improvement in PMI to 49.7 (still below 50.0) means that 3mo average for Q1 2015 is now at 48.5 which is better than 3mo average for Q1 2014 (48.3), if only marginally. This is despite the fact that in March 2014, PMI was reading 48.3 against 48.1 in March 2015.
As reminder, Russian Manufacturing PMIs first slipped below 50 in July 2013 and remained below 50 in 15 months out of the last 21 months.