Wednesday, December 3, 2014

3/12/2014: Russia Services & Composite PMIs: November

Pretty tough news for Russian Services and Composite PMIs for November.

As a reminder, Manufacturing PMI for November posted a nice surprise, rising to 51.7 in November from 50.3 in October. However, as I noted in the analysis of Manufacturing figures here: the devil was always in the services PMI data.

Services PMI came in significantly to the downside. November Services PMI reading fell to an abysmal 44.5 from already poor 47.4, marking second month of contraction, and a sharpest rate of contraction since May 2009.

3mo MA is now at 47.5, and 3mo MA for the period through August is at 49.9, which means 6 months of continued declines (on average) in the sector activity. In 3mo through November 2013, the index averaged 52.3.

Composite PMI, driven by Services downside, fell off the cliff from 49.1 in October to 47.6 in November, marking an outright statistically significant contraction. 3mo average through November 2014 is at 49.2 against 3mo average through August at 50.8 and 3mo average through November 2013 at 52.2.

All three PMIs taken together show continued strong trend to the downside, a trend that was clearly established in Q4 2012 first on foot of structural weaknesses, further reinforced by sanctions and counter-sanctions, plus now being strongly propelled by the drop in global energy prices. Additional driver to the downside is the global environment that currently strongly disfavours all BRICs (here is my analysis of BRICs Manufacturing PMIs: and stay tuned for analysis of BRICs composite and services data coming up later this week).

Overall, the weaknesses in Russian economy continue to persist and the downside to the Composite PMI index suggests that we are now likely to see contraction in economic activity in Q4 2014. As I predicted before, official recession will most likely be unavoidable in Q4 2014 - Q1 2015. The question now is at what rate the economy will be contracting.

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