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Kazakhstan Factory Sector Contraction Slows

Kazakhstan's manufacturing sector contracted at the slowest pace in three months in February, as the pace of decline in output slowed noticeably and new orders rebounded.

The purchasing manager's index, or PMI, for the manufacturing sector rose to a three-month high of 48.5 from 45.6 in January, survey data from Tengri Partners and IHS Markit showed Monday.

A reading below 50 suggests contraction in the sector. Activity fell for a fourth month in a row.

New orders grew for the first time since October. Costs climbed again mainly due to supply issues, leading to a record rise in average charges.

Business optimism regarding the outlook for output in the next 12 months was at a record high on hopes of a surge in sales and new contracts once Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

"Although a step in the right direction, the sector remains stuck in a downturn," Anuar Ushbayev, managing partner and chief investment officer at Tengri Partners, said.

"If the improvement in client demand can be sustained we should see movement towards a recovery."

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