December 4, 2019 / 6:28 AM / 3 days ago

Russian services sector activity slips marginally in November: PMI

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the skyscrapers of the Moscow International Business Centre, also known as "Moskva-City", in Moscow, Russia June 15, 2018. Picture taken June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Growth in Russia’s service sector remained strong in November, despite easing slightly from a one-year high reached in October, supported by a rise in new orders, a survey showed on Wednesday.

IHS Markit’s purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 55.6 in November, from 55.8 in October, but remained well above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

“Domestic demand drove new sales as new export orders fell for the first time since July,” said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

The solid rise in new business allowed service sector firms to expand their workforce numbers and reduce their backlog of work, IHS Markit said.

Companies, however, expressed a lower degree of confidence in November, citing economic uncertainty that weighed on optimism.

“Expectations dropped to the lowest since August 2018 amid concerns surrounding the consistency of future new order inflows,” Jones said.

The outlook from Russia’s services was more positive than that of their peers in the manufacturing business. A sister survey on Monday showed activity in the manufacturing sector shrank in November for the seventh straight month and reached a decade-low level, hit by weaker client demand.

Reporting by Alexander Marrow

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