May 7, 2018 / 6:11 AM / 18 days ago

Russian services sector grows in April on new orders - PMI

MOSCOW, (Reuters) - Russia’s services sector posted solid growth in April thanks to a rise in orders from new and existing clients, the Markit purchasing managers index (PMI) showed on Monday.

The index’s headline figure rose to 55.5 in April, a two-month high, from 53.7 in March, remaining above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction since February 2016.

“Following a slowdown at the end of the first quarter of 2018, April survey data signalled a strong start to the second quarter across the Russian service sector,” said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Market, which compiles the survey.

“Rates of business activity and new order growth picked up and the pace of job creation was solid overall,” Jones said.

Companies’ expectations for this year were robust, with the business expectations index rising to 69.1 in April from 65.0 a month earlier.

IHS Markit said the panelists suggested this was due to a sustained upturn in new orders as well an acquisition of new clients.

Earlier this month, a separate PMI survey showed activity in Russia’s manufacturing sector expanded in April as output rose and stronger demand led to an increase in new orders.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Toby Chopra

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