MOSCOW, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Russian manufacturing activity declined amid challenging demand conditions for the eighth straight month in December, the Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed on Monday.
The index’s headline reading rose to 47.5 from 45.6 the previous month, which was its lowest level in over a decade.
The PMI index has remained below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction since May, although the pace of contraction slowed in December along with a drop in new orders.
“The Russian manufacturing sector remained in the doldrums at the end of 2019, with December data further extending the current run of deteriorating manufacturing health,” said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
Output expectations were muted in December, with the degree of confidence at the second-lowest level for over two years, as respondents cited lacklustre global and domestic demand.
“Meanwhile, muted business confidence weighed further on hiring decisions, as firms reduced their workforce numbers for the fifth straight month,” Jones said.
Still, the manufacturing sector in Russia expects output to rise over the next 12 months.
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