November 1, 2017 / 6:42 AM / a year ago

Russian manufacturing activity growth at four-month low in October: PMI

Employees work on the production line at a cheese manufacturing plant in the village of Yershovo outside Moscow, Russia, September 2, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian manufacturing activity expanded in October at the slowest pace in four months, although business confidence remained positive, the Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed on Wednesday.

The index’s headline reading slipped to 51.1 in October from 51.9 in September, holding above the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

The survey signaled “a softer start” to the fourth quarter of 2017, although export orders expanded at the fastest rate since November 2012, said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles PMI surveys.

“Business confidence remained robust in October, with panelists stating that larger client bases and planned investment drove optimism,” Jones said.

Average input prices rose further, while output price inflation slowed to three-month lows. The overall rate of price increase was muted compared with previous months.

The survey also showed new export orders expanded at the fastest rate since November 2011 because of strong client demand from Central Asian economies, survey respondents said.

Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and; Hugh Lawson

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