Russian Manufacturing Expands a Second Month as New Orders Rise

Russia’s manufacturing industry expanded for a second month with output and new orders rising at the fastest pace in a year as the economy begins its climb out of recession.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.1 in November from 50.2 in October, according to a statement released Tuesday by Markit Economics. The median estimate of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey was 50, the threshold that separates contraction from growth. The gauge rebounded to above the mark in October after having indicated 10 months of contracting.

“Expansions in output and new orders helped to just keep the headline figure in growth territory this month, where the sharpest rises in one year were reported,” Samuel Agass, an economist at Markit, said in the statement. He said the PMI staying close to the 50 mark signals “stabilization in the sector.”

The economy of the world’s largest energy exporter is contracting for the first time since 2009 after oil prices collapsed and the U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine’s crisis. The lowest point of the contraction was in June-July this year and the economy is set to return to growth next year, according to Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev.

The ruble has fallen about 11 percent against the dollar this year while inflation eased to 15.6 percent in October after reaching a 13-year high of 16.9 percent in March.

Manufacturing growth remained modest last month as companies continued to shed jobs, with employment falling for the 29th month, according to the statement from Markit. The increase in new orders was driven by the domestic market as new export orders contracted.

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