Russia’s manufacturing PMI released by Markit showed slower rate of decline in the sector activity in September, rising to 49.1 from 47.9 in August. This is the highest reading in the series since February 2015, but marks 10th consecutive month of sub-50 readings.
Per Markit: both output and new orders posted “negligible growth” in September. More importantly:
- “…excess capacity remained prevalent, leading to further job cuts, while price pressures continued to intensify due to a lower value of the rouble against other major international currencies.”
- “Contributing to the rise in the PMI in September were improved trends in output and new orders, following a period of contraction. In particular, the intermediate goods sector performed well, recording rises in both output and new work. There were reports from the survey panel that domestic demand had firmed over the month and was a key support to production and order books.”
- Key driver to the upside, therefore, was imports substitution.
- “International demand, in contrast, continued to deteriorate, as highlighted by a fall in new export orders for a twenty-fifth successive month. The rate of contraction was again solid, but nonetheless the slowest since June.”
Overall, Manufacturing PMI signal, in my view, is not yet consistent with expected stabilisation of the economy. Remember, I recently noted that previous hopes for economic recession bottoming out in 2Q 2015 have been squashed by the data, with new consensus outlook for stabilisation in 3Q. Based on the data to-date, this stabilisation did not take place. We are now looking at another quarter of below zero growth and most likely will see sub-zero GDP growth through 4Q 2015 as well.
Chart to illustrate manufacturing sector activity trends:
Note: I covered China Manufacturing, Services & Composite PMIs for September in an earlier note here http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/10/11015-china-pmis-signalling-deeper.html. Overall, Russian Manufacturing PMI (and the exports component of the index especially) are broadly in line with Chinese data so far.