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Russia Manufacturing Growth Strongest Since April 2019

Russia's manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in nearly two years in February, underpinned by robust output and new order growth.

The Russia Manufacturing PMI rose to 51.5 in February from 50.9 in January, survey data from IHS Markit showed Monday. A reading above 50 suggest growth in the sector. The overall upturn was the sharpest since April 2019, the research group said.

The pace of decline in export business slowed, but orders remained robust. Employment grew the most in over two years.

Business confidence was the highest in over a year, thus back to levels last seen before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Vendor performance deteriorated at the fastest pace since May 2020 as lead time for inputs were longer largely due to transportation delays and supplier shortages.

Input price inflation was among the steepest since February 2015 and the pace of output price inflation accelerated to the sharpest in six years as firms raised prices sharply in a bid to pass on the burden of higher costs.

"Our current forecast expects industrial production to rise 4.1 percent in 2021, as the sector seeks to recover from the downturn seen in 2020," IHS Markit economist Sian Jones said.

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