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Financial News: Russia Service Sector Growth At 8-1/2-year High

Russia Service Sector Growth At 8-1/2-year High

02/03/2017 - 02:43:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Russia's services sector unexpectedly improved in January at the fastest pace in eight-and-a-half years, boosted by higher new orders and improved optimism on the outlook, survey data from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The Markit Russia Services Business Activity Index rose to 58.4. from 56.5 in December. Economists had forecast a score of 55.9.

A PMI reading above 50 suggests growth in the sector and the latest score was the highest since July 2008.

The latest PMI figure signaled a substantial improvement in business conditions in Russia's service sector and continues a trend which has been observed over the past year, the survey said.

Both input and output costs increased for the services sector. New orders grew at the fastest pace in 49 months. Workforce numbers were raised at the start of 2017, thus bringing to an end a four-month period of job shedding.

The Composite PMI, which combines manufacturing and services, climbed to 58.3 from 56.6 in December, and the highest level since June 2008.

Earlier in the week, survey data showed that Russian manufacturing production grew at the quickest pace for 70 months, amid the fastest increase in new orders in nearly six years.

Based on the upbeat survey data, IHS Markit economist Samuel Agass said the firm is forecasting 0.8 percent GDP growth for 2017, that will mark an end to Russia's current recession.

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