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Upturn in Russian service sector moderates slightly in September
The upturn seen in Russia’s service sector moderated a bit in September as the pace of business activity growth weakened to a four-month low. The headline seasonally adjusted Markit Russia Services Business Activity Index dropped to 53 in September from 53.5 in August. The September figure was the lowest since May; however, it continues to indicate towards a strong upturn in the country’s service sector. Furthermore, output growth has been seen in each of the last eight months, noted Markit.

Russia’s composite output index continued to stay in growth territory in the month. It rose slightly to 53.1 in September from 52.9 in the prior month. The latest print was indicative of a strong growth in Russia’s private sector and was driven by the most rapid rise in production at manufacturers for 22 months.

Meanwhile, new business intakes increased further in the country’s service sector in September, extending the current growth sequence to eight straight months. But the latest growth was the weakest in four months. A report rise in new work was generally linked with robust domestic demand. Russian goods producers also registered a strong increase in new orders in September with the pace of growth accelerating to a three-month high.

Service providers in Russia had a higher level of outstanding business in September. The latest rise weakened since August, but higher levels of incomplete work have been recorded in every survey since June. In the meantime, backlogs of work in the manufacturing sector continued to be widely unchanged in the month.

Number of workforce in the nation’s service sector dropped for the first time in three months in September. Several panellists attributed the decline in staffing levels to optimization efforts. The job shedding trend was also continued at goods producers, where drop in employment accelerated to the sharpest in five months, said Markit.