Russia’s manufacturing activity shrinks to record low; survey shows

30.04.2020 - Petr Mazaylo
Russia’s manufacturing activity shrinks to record low; survey shows

Russia’s manufacturing activity plunged to a record low in April as factories halted operations in a measure to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, a business survey revealed on Thursday.   

The Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed that factory activity fell from 47.5 in March to 31.3 in April. The 50.0 mark divides expansion from contraction.

Factory output and new orders shrank to 18.9, the fastest pace since September 1997 when it fell to 19.5. Falling below the 30.0 mark was first observed in December 2008 during the global financial crisis.

According to the survey, firms and factories saw clients cancelling or postponing orders after lockdowns and public health measures were implemented as the pandemic broke out across Europe.

“Of concern was a sharp uptick in input prices, with the rate of inflation at the fastest since the hike in VAT in early 2019,” said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit that compiled the survey.

“A depreciation of the Ruble and supplier shortages drove costs higher, with some firms still partly able to pass costs on to clients.”

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