Russia: Industrial production runs out of steam in March
Industrial output edged up 0.3% year-on-year in March, slowing markedly from the 3.3% increase in February and marking the weakest expansion since May 2019. As a result, annual industrial production growth eased to 1.5% in Q1 2020, from 1.8% in Q4 2019.
The downturn at the end of Q1 was broad-based. Growth in the all-important manufacturing sector nearly halved in March, thus spearheading the overall downturn. Moreover, mining and quarrying output contracted at the sharpest rate since our records began in 2014, amid increasing turmoil in global commodity markets. In a similar fashion, activity in both the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, and water supply and sewage sectors shrunk at a more rapid pace in March than in the previous month.
On a monthly basis, industrial production fell 1.3% in seasonally- and calendar-adjusted terms, reversing February’s 0.5% increase. Meanwhile, annual average growth in industrial production ticked down to an over three-year low of 2.1% in the final month of Q1, from 2.2% in February.