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Russian Service Sector Expands For 19th Month

The Russian service sector expanded for the nineteenth consecutive month in March, though at a slower pace, data released by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the service sector came in at 54.4 in March and remained above the no-change 50 mark, which separate growth from contraction, for the nineteenth consecutive month. However, the rate of growth in March was the weakest in three months. In February, the reading was 55.3.

New business received by Russian service providers increased sharply in March. The volume of outstanding business continued to fall, extending the current sequence of depletion to 16 months. Employment in the service sector increased further in March, extending the current sequence of job creation to 17 months.

Input price inflation accelerated during the month, driven mainly by higher labor costs and rents. Output prices, meanwhile, increased at a slower rate.

At the same time, the composite output index that covers both manufacturing and services remained unchanged at 53.6 in March.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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