Russian Manufacturing PMI rebound in January compared to December slump, rising from 48.7 in December (the lowest reading since August 2015, to 49.8. Still, January reading was nominally below 50.0, signalling second consecutive month of contraction in country manufacturing activity. In statistical significance terms, January reading is basically singling zero growth.
Per Markit, this means that “Russian manufacturing sector edgeed closer to stability during the first month of 2016” with “both output and incoming new orders return to growth territory”. However, overall, “survey data for the first month of 2016 remained disappointing for Russian manufacturers, as the sector stayed in contractionary territory. Although there were marginal increases in volumes of both production and incoming new orders, job shedding was still evident. Meanwhile, average cost burdens increased at a marked pace, while a more moderate rise in output charges was reported”.
On sectoral basis,”production volumes grew at Russian goods producers during January, having contracted in the final month of 2015. Anecdotal evidence suggested the expansion in output was linked to an increase in
incoming new orders. Job cuts were still evident in the manufacturing sector of Russia in January, continuing a trend that began in July 2013. The rate of job shedding accelerated to a four-month high and was solid overall.”
All of the expansion in new orders was contained within domestic economy, “as new export orders contracted. Falling new business from abroad has been reported in every month since September 2013.”
On a 3mo average basis, Manufacturing PMI for 3 months through January 2016 was 49.7 - below 50.0, although an improvement on 49.1 average for 3 months through October 2015, and on 49.4 3-mo average through January 2015. In simple terms, Russian Manufacturing continued to contract in 3 months through January 2016, but the rate of contraction was virtually indistinguishable from zero growth.
As shown above, Russia retained its's position as the second strongest performing economy by Manufacturing PMIs in the BRIC group.