Russia: Services PMI records worst reading since May 2020 in March
The S&P Global Russia Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dived to 38.1 in March, down from February’s 52.1. March’s result marked the weakest reading since the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in May 2020. Consequently, the index plunged far below the 50.0 no-change threshold, signaling a sharp deterioration in business conditions from the previous month.
The downturn in the services sector came in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the fallout from the war, mostly stemming from unprecedented international sanctions, hammered private-sector activity. Output among services firms dropped at the fastest clip since May 2020, amid weaker client demand at home and abroad, which resulted in plunging new orders. As a result, employment levels contracted at the sharpest pace since June 2020, while business expectations slumped to a two-year low. Lastly, soaring input costs pushed output charge inflation to record-high levels in March.
Meanwhile, the Composite PMI dived to 37.7 in March, from 50.8 in February, reflecting a broad-based downturn in Russia’s private sector activity.