Russia’s private sector activity slowed at the weakest pace in three months in March, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Friday.

The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Mangers’ Index for both manufacturing and service sectors rose to 46.8 in March from 44.7 in February. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The services PMI climbed to 46.1 in March from 41.3 in the prior month.

“Latest data signaled that the economic environment remains tough, with activity, new business and employment in the service sector all registering net falls since the previous month,” Paul Smith, Senior Economist at Markit, said.

“However, there are some tentative signs of a bottom in the downturn being reached, with rates of contraction much slower than in February. Moreover, companies offered a more upbeat assessment of the future than at any time in the past seven months amid hope of a turnaround in wider economic performance over the coming year.”

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –