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Kazakhstan Manufacturing Shrinks For Fifth Month

Kazakhstan's manufacturing activity deteriorated for a fifth straight month in March amid declines in output and jobs, and weaker expectations due to the global slowdown triggered by the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic.

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 48.8 from 49.2 in February, survey data from IHS Markit and Tengri Partners showed on Wednesday. A reading below 50 suggests contraction in the sector.

Due to weak demand, output continued to fall at a solid rate, but the softest in four months, extending the declining trend since November. Jobs were cut for third straight month, but marginally.

Input price inflation accelerated sharply and these were partly passed on to clients that saw output price inflation rising to its highest level since October.

Business confidence fell to a four-month low as coronavirus fears hurt expectations.

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