Russian PMIs are out for December 2015, so here is monthly data reading:
Russian Manufacturing PMIs posted a deterioration in sector performance in December, falling to 48.7 from 50.1 in November. This reverses two consecutive months of above 50 readings in October and November. It is worth noting that October-November readings were not statistically distinct from 50.0. On a quarterly basis, 4Q 2015 average reading was 49.7, which is better than 48.4 average for 3Q 2015, but still below 50.0 line. Overall December reading was the weakest since August 2015 and signals that the much anticipated stabilisation of the Russian economy did not take place in December.
Per Markit release: “Leading the deterioration in business conditions at Russian manufacturers was a fall in production. The rate of contraction quickened to the fastest since May 2009, with the majority of panellists linking this to a drop in new order intakes. As a result, a lower volume of post-production inventories was recorded. Meanwhile, Russian manufacturers continued to shed jobs during December. Falling employment has been reported in every survey period since July 2013, with the rate of contraction quickening to the sharpest in three months. The decline in staff numbers was matched by a solid deterioration in outstanding business volumes. Backlogs of work have been depleted in each of the past 34 survey periods. Elsewhere, incoming new orders slipped into decline in December, ending a three-month sequence of growth. However, the drop in new work was marginal and centred on intermediate goods producers. Data suggested that the main source of weakness was external, as export orders were down sharply.”
Chart to illustrate:
Russian Service PMI also reported a fall in output marking the third successive month of declines, driven by a slight decrease in new business levels. Job cuts continued in the sector as outstanding business deteriorated. The headline seasonally adjusted Russia Services Business Activity Index fell to 47.8 in December from already contractionary 49.8 in November. In 4Q 2015, average Services PMI reading was 48.5 against 50.7 in 3Q 2015, showing stronger deterioration in growth conditions in the sector in 4Q 2015. Current reading of 47.8 is the joint-weakest (with October 2015) for nine months.
Per Markit release: “New business levels at service providers slipped further into decline during December. However, the rate at which new work deteriorated was only marginal. Where a lower volume of new sales was recorded, panellists linked this to a combination of waning demand in the sector and payment difficulties being experienced by customers… With business activity at Russian service providers declining, pressures on operating capacity fell further in December. The rate at which work-inhand depleted eased to the slowest in three months yet remained solid overall. Anecdotal evidence suggested that lower backlogs of work were attributed to a drop in new business. Falling staff numbers have been reported in every month since March 2014, with the latest drop at a faster pace than in November. There was some evidence that lower employment reflected squeezed cash availability at service providers.”
Chart to illustrate:
Finally, Russia’s Composite index slipped into contraction during December, falling to 47.8, from 50.5 in November, with the decline in output reflected across both manufacturing production and services activity. Overall, Russian economy’s composite PMI averaged 49.1 in 4Q 2015 which is much worse than 50.4 average for 3Q 2015.
The data strongly suggests that not only did the economy failed to attain stabilisation, but that growth might have turned more negative in 4Q 2015.
I will be posting on quarterly figures for PMIs next, so stay tuned for more.