MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s service sector expanded in November at the second-highest rate since February thanks to a robust increase in new business, the Markit purchasing managers index (PMI) showed on Wednesday.
The headline figure declined to 55.6 in November from 56.9 in October, remaining well above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction, as it has done since early 2016.
“Russian service providers showed resilience in November, registering another sharp expansion in business activity. New order growth remained steep amid stronger domestic and foreign demand,” said Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
“Despite a faster decline in backlogs, services firms continued to expand workforce numbers, with the rate of job creation reaching a seven-month high,” Jones said.
Business confidence, however, declined as companies were less optimistic about output over the next year.
Inflationary pressures in the sector remained high. Higher operating expenses were attributed to greater fuel costs and a stronger dollar, while input costs also increased.
Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Hugh Lawson