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Russia Services Activity Contracts In August

Russia's service sector contracted for the first time this year in August amid weaker demand and business confidence, data from IHS Markit showed on Friday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49.3 in August from 53.5 in July.

This was the first decline since December last year. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

New business eased in August though new export orders expanded.

The rate of cost inflation eased to the lowest in seven months and selling prices softened.

Employment dropped for the first time since January and backlogs of work declined.

Business expectations worsened in August, with the degree of confidence sliding to its weakest level since November last year.

The composite output index fell to 48.2 in August from 51.7 in July.

"Our current forecast expects a further hike in interest rates as consumer price inflation remains above target," Sian Jones, senior economist at IHS Markit, said.

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