Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Manufacturing Sees Glimmer of Hope Amid Recession

Russia's manufacturing sector saw only a modest decline in March compared with previous months, indicating that the industry may enjoy some stability in the short term, international bank HSBC said on Wednesday.

HSBC's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a composite indicator that tracks businesses' output, new orders and hiring, fell from 49.7 to 48.1 in March. Although this was the fourth straight monthly decline, HSBC said it was a relatively mild drop, cushioned by some instances of positive growth, fewer layoffs and a sharp drop in price inflation.

"With inflation falling back sharply over the month, there is hope of at least near-term stability,"  Paul Smith, senior economist at financial services company Markit, was quoted as saying in an HSBC press release.

Russian businesses have struggled as a whole from diminished access to capital and the rising cost of imports, a result of the ruble's fall of around 40 percent to the U.S. dollar since the beginning of 2014 on the back of low oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

The Russian economy is expected to contract by at least 3 percent this year. On Wednesday, the World Bank said that Russia's economy will shrink 3.8 percent this year, a sharp revision of their December forecast of a 0.7 percent decline. 

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more