Russia’s manufacturing sector contracted for the fourth straight month in March, as both output and new business fell, though slightly, survey figures from Markit Economics showed Wednesday.

The HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, fell to 48.1 in March from 49.7 in the previous month. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

Manufacturing output and new orders dropped at a modest pace in March, reversing the growth seen in February.

Manufacturers reduced their staffing levels in March, but overall rate of contraction was the weakest in seven months. Backlogs of work also dropped, indicative of some excess capacity in the Russian manufacturing sector.

On the price front, input prices continued to increase in March, albeit at much slower rate than previous month’s multi-year peak.

In line with lower input prices, selling price inflation plunged to the lowest in four months.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –