Thursday, December 4, 2014

Russia Manufacturing Gauge Tops Forecasts as Ruble Drives Output - Bloomberg

Russian manufacturers reported improving conditions for a fifth month in November, exceeding forecasts by economists as a weaker currency spurred output and pushed input-price growth to the fastest in more than 16 years.

The Russia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 51.7, the highest in more than a year, from 50.3 in October, HSBC Holdings Plc said in a statement, citing data compiled by Markit Economics. That exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of six economists, whose forecasts ranged from 49.9 to 50.2. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

“Input prices surged at a rate not yet seen in this century,” Alexander Morozov, chief economist for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States for HSBC in Moscow, said in the statement. “Manufacturers either benefit from substitution of expensive imports or just misinterpret a temporary spike in demand driven by the increased inflationary expectations.”

President Vladimir Putin is counting on domestic producers taking advantage of the ruble’s record plunge to shield an economy battered by nosediving oil prices and sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine. The surge of input costs raises the likelihood of “double-digit” inflation in the coming months and boosts the case for an increase in interest rates by the central bank, according to HSBC.

The ruble has lost 29 percent against the dollar in the past three months, the worst performer among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. A lower exchange rate makes a nation more competitive in selling goods.

Complete story at - Russia Manufacturing Gauge Tops Forecasts as Ruble Drives Output - Bloomberg

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