MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s manufacturing industry held steady in June, with a recovery in domestic demand softening the blow from a deepening export slump, a survey showed on Friday.
The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged up to 50.9 from 50.8 in May – above the 50.0 mark that marks growth in activity and continuing to recover after falling below 50 from February to April.
Russian industry remains under intense pressure as a result of Western sanctions imposed in response to Moscow’s decision to send tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
While actual manufacturing output in Russia dipped in June, S&P Global said, an increase in new orders from domestic firms and increased hiring helped to outweigh the fifth consecutive monthly fall in exports.
Firms reported significant logistics challenges and difficulties sourcing raw materials as sanctions have hit Russian supply chains.
Around a third of Russia’s exports are affected by Western sanctions, according to Renaissance Capital estimates, while a strong rouble has also dented demand for Russian products abroad.
The currency is trading at multi-year highs around 52 to the U.S. dollar, boosted by Moscow’s capital controls and plunging imports which have capped demand for foreign currency inside Russia.
But companies that took part in the survey remained optimistic on hopes that client demand will recover, and the degree of confidence rose for the third month running to the strongest since February.
(Reporting by Reuters)