Russian manufacturing stalled for the first time in 15 months in December as the industry stumbled for the steepest drop in four years, HSBC Holdings Plc said.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to 50 in December from 52.2 in November, HSBC said in an e-mailed statement, citing data compiled by London-based Markit Economics. A level above 50 signals an expansion, while below that is a contraction.
The world’s largest energy exporter is struggling to stabilize economic growth as euro-area countries that account for about half of Russia’s trade grapple with recession. New orders, output and employment, the three main components of the manufacturing index, worsened from last month, HSBC said.
“Growth momentum suddenly deteriorated amid a sharp fall in external demand in the end of 2012,” Artem Biryukov, an economist at HSBC, said in the statement. November’s figure was changed from the initially reported 52.3 because of a rounding issue, he said today by telephone.
The Micex Manufacturing Index was little changed at 1,963.72 as of 10:13 a.m. in Moscow, and the broader Micex Index was also trading little changed at 1,479.22.
Russian trade volumes may be unchanged from last year after growing as much as 3 percent in the first 10 months of this year, Deputy Economy Minister Alexei Likhachev told reporters in Moscow yesterday. Russian imports and exports both shrunk in November and the trend has continued into December, he said.
Still, the manufacturing reading may be a sign of a stabilization as businesses scaled back over-production in December, according to HSBC.
“Resumption of stronger growth is still on the agenda as we estimate moderate stock levels in the manufacturing sector,” Biryukov said.
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