Category Archives: Russia Services PMI

7/1/20: BRIC Services PMIs 4Q 2019

BRIC Services PMIs have been a mixed bag in 4Q 2019, beating overall Global Services PMI, but showing similar weaknesses and renewed volatility.

Brazil Services PMI slipped  in 4Q 2019, falling from 51.8 in 3Q 2019 to 51.0. Statistically, this level of activity is consistent with zero growth conditions. In the last four quarters, Brazil's services sector activity ranged between a high of 52.3 and a low of 48.6, showing lack of sustained growth momentum in the sector.

Russia Services sector posted a surprising, and contrary to Manufacturing, robust rise from 52.0 in 3Q 2019 to 54.8 in 4Q 2019, reaching the highest level in three quarters. Statistically, the index has been in an expansion territory in every quarter starting with 2Q 2016. 4Q 2019 almost tied for the highest reading in 2019 overall, with 1Q 2019 marginally higher at 54.9. For 2019 overall, Services PMI averaged 53.3, which is below 2018 average of 54.6 with the difference being statistically significant.

China Services PMI ended 4Q 2019 at 52.4 quarter average, up on 51.7 in 3Q 2019. Nonetheless, 4Q 2019 reading was the second weakest in 8 consecutive quarters. The level of 4Q 2019 activity, however, was statistically above the 50.0 zero growth line. In 2019, China Services PMI averaged 52.5 - a slight deterioration on 53.1 average for 2018, signalling slower growth in the sector last year compared to 2018.

India Services PMI averaged 51.7 in 4Q 2019, statistically identical to 51.6 in 3Q 2019. Over the last 4 quarters, the index averaged 51.5, which is effectively identical to 51.6 average for 2018 as a whole. Both readings are barely above the statistical upper bound for 50.0 line, suggesting weak growth conditions, overall.

As the chart above indicates, BRIC Services PMI - based on global GDP weightings for BRIC countries - was indistinguishable from the Global Services PMI. Both averaged 52.2 in 2019, with BRIC services index slipping from 52.6 in 2018 and Global services index falling from 53.8 in 2018. On a quarterly basis, BRIC services PMI averaged 52.3 in 4Q 2019, compared to 51.7 in 3Q 2019 - both statistically significantly above 50.0; for Global Services PMI, comparable figures were 52.0 in 3Q and 51.6 in 4Q 2019, again showing statistically significant growth.

11/9/16: BRIC PMIs: Services & Manufacturing – August

With full 3Q 2016 update on PMIs coming up relatively soon, and having not done monthly updates on the time series for some time now, here is a quick summary of BRIC Manufacturing and Services PMIs through August 2016:

On Manufacturing side:

  • Brazil remains firmly stuck under 50.0 and the talk about improvements in the economy is highly premature. The rate of contraction did slow down a bit in recent months, but getting worse more slowly is not equivalent to getting better. With 19 consecutive months of sub-50 readings, the manufacturing side of Brazil's economy remains deeply sick. Last time Brazil's manufacturing posted statistically significant growth was in March 2013. Ouch!
  • Russia has been posting volatile manufacturing PMIs headlines for some time now. August reversion of PMI to 50.8 - statistically indistinguishable from 50.0 - offers no change to this pattern. That said, Russian Manufacturing appears to be stable, as opposed to contracting. Last 3mo average is at 50.6 - which, statistically, signals zero growth. This compares somewhat positively against 48.6 3mo average through May 2016. Overall, Russian manufacturing has not posted statistically significant growth reading - based on PMIs - since December 2014, with exception of one month (June 2016).
  • China's Manufacturing PMI posted a non-contractionary reading of 50.0 (zero growth) in August, down from 50.6 in July. In statistical terms, Chines manufacturing posted contraction or zero growth readings for 25 consecutive months now.
  • India continued to post significantly positive growth in manufacturing, based on PMIs. Over the last 8 months index reading stayed above 50.0 (statistically above 50.0 in 4 months out of 8). Current expansionary period in Indian manufacturing is now 8 months long and strengthening.
Chart below summarises trends in Manufacturing PMIs

The above shows that Manufacturing sectors are converging toward growth recovery in Russia and China, while India remains well-ahead of the rest of BRIC economies in terms of positive growth momentum. Brazil is on a clear downward trend and has decoupled from the other BRICs.

Services sectors:

As the above illustrates:

  • Brazil services sectors posted yet another month of declining growth, with rate of decline accelerating in August compared to July. This marks 18th consecutive month of negative growth in the services sector in the country. As with manufacturing, country services have been performing extremely poorly since March 2013, when structural (long-term trend) slowdown in growth kicked in.
  • Russia services sectors posted 7th consecutive month of above 50.0 readings, signalling relatively strong (albeit slower than in July) recovery. Over the last 6 months, Russia posted statistically significant growth in 5 months, which is rather solid sector recovery compared to the same period of 2015.
  • Chinese services sectors never posted a reading below 50.0 in the entire history of the time series. However, in August, the series reading of 52.1 was stronger the July reading and marked the third time the series were statistically above 50.0 over the last 6 months. This suggests some firming up in the services sector growth in China - a welcome relief to the rather pessimistic outlook projected by the PMIs in previous months.
  • India services PMI rose strongly to statistically significant reading of 54.7 in August, marking 14th straight month of above 50.0 readings (in level terms). August was the third month out of the last 6 months with statistically significant growth reading.

Just as with manufacturing, BRIC services sectors posted continuous improvements in trading conditions in India, China and Russia over the recent months. Brazil, however, remains significant drag on BRIC growth with no signs of convergence to the rest of the BRIC economies in sight.

Overall: both Manufacturing and Services PMIs suggest that BRIC economies as a group continue to act as a moderating factor on global growth trends. Although no longer dragging the global economy into growth recession, the block of largest emerging markets economies is not exactly propelling world growth to higher trend levels. However, more analysis on this later, with Composite indicators.

5/10/15: Russia Services & Composite PMI: September 2015

Having covered Russian Manufacturing PMIs earlier here. Now, let’s take a look at the Services PMI and Composite PMI next.

In a positive sign of some stabilisation in the economy in September, Services PMI came in at moderate growth reading of 51.3 - the highest reading since July 2015 and up on 49.1 in August.

According to Markit, there was an increase in new orders, although excess capacity persisted in September. Job cuts continued as well, on foot of reductions in backlog of work.

September reading signals fourth instance of growth over the last 6 months, which, in the past did not translate in de-acceleration in the rate of economic contraction, so the latest figure should be considered with caution when interpreting growth in the Services sector as a sign of economic stabilisation. We need several months of continued above 50 readings on both Manufacturing and Services PMIs side to call an economic turnaround.

That said, given we are still awaiting for release of other BRIC data for Service, Russian Services sector performance in September is encouraging. China’s Services PMI came in at 50.5, below Russian PMI last month. The latest data for other BRIC economies shows Russia likely moving from third position in sector growth in August to second in September.

Boosted by Services improvement, Composite PMI for Russia posted a reading over 50 in September, coming in at 50.9 compared to 49.3 in August. This beats China’s 48 reading for September.

Note: I use 100 scale as opposed to market 50 scale.

As chart above shows, Russian Composite PMI has been on an upward trend since February 2015 trough and is now in growth territory over three months for the last 6 months period. Again, this warrants only cautious optimism, however, as we are yet to have consecutive above 100 readings in the index.

The key point is that we need to see both manufacturing and services PMIs reading above 50 to call normalisation in the economy. Last time we had such a reading was in September 2014, right before the full-blown currency crisis erupted to derail fragile stabilisation in the economy. 

3/9/15: BRIC Servies PMI: August

BRIC Services PMIs are out, so here is the summary of latest changes:

  • Brazil Services PMI rose to 44.8 in August from July's 39.1. This marks seventh consecutive month of Services reading below 50.0. July fire was horrific and cam on top of abysmal 39.9 reading in June. August reading is still below 50, but is now the second highest in 7 months. In 12 months from August 2014, the index posted above 50 reading in only two months. This confirms deep-running recessionary dynamic in Brazil's economy.
  • Russia Services PMI came in at 49.1, below 50.0 and down on 51.6 in July. Details covered here. As noted, this is a disappointing reading signalling weak contraction in the Services side of the Russian economy, compounding sharper contraction in Manufacturing.
  • China Services PMI posted 51.5 in August, down from 53.8 in July. This index has never reached below 50.0 in its history, so 51.5 is a weak reading overall. In fact, this is the slowest pace of expansion signalled by the Services sector since July 2014. Taken together with rather sharp ongoing contraction in Manufacturing, the Services PMI for China suggests that current rate of economic growth in the country is well below the target of 7% annual rate of growth targeted by the Chinese Government. Most likely, stripping out financials (supported by the Government aggressive intervention in the stock markets in recent months), China's Services PMI would be in much worse shape.
  • India Services PMI came in at 51.8 - signalling acceleration in growth from 50.8 in July. This marks second consecutive month of above 50.0 readings for this index. 

Some Markit comments on the above:

For China: "The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index …signalled the slowest increase in activity in the current 13-month sequence of expansion. Total new order growth at service sector companies also weakened in August, with the latest increase in new business the slowest seen in just over a year. According to anecdotal evidence, relatively subdued market conditions had dampened client demand in the latest survey period."

For India: "The seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Business Activity Index [pointed] to a faster, although modest, expansion in output. Activity growth was recorded in three of the six monitored categories, namely, Hotels & Restaurants, Post & Telecommunication and ‘Other Services’. Leading services activity to increase was a further rise in incoming new work. According to panellists, higher demand coupled with capacity improvements and increased marketing all had contributed to the latest expansion in new business. Despite quickening since July, the rate of growth was moderate. While manufacturing new work rose at a weaker pace than in July, growth nevertheless outpaced that seen at their services counterparts."

CONCLUSION: BRIC economies are suffering from the twin effects on internal structural weaknesses (domestic markets and policies) and from lack of external demand growth. These leading emerging market economies are now solidly in a recessionary dynamic (Brazil and Russia), and near hard landing territory (China). India continues to break trend with the rest of BRICs, although this remains to be seen how long its economy can sustain this decoupling. 

7/5/15: Russian Services and Composite PMIs: April 2015

Russian Services and Composite PMIs are out today (Markit) and the results are quite positive.

Remember that Manufacturing PMI for April posted 48.9 compared to 48.1 in March, signalling less pronounced rate of contraction in the sector. Analysis of this is available here:

Per Markit release: "The new orders component of the [Manufacturing] PMI was the primary drag on the headline index in April. Total new work fell at the sharpest pace for nearly six years, although the contraction was principally centred on capital goods producers… In contrast, consumer goods companies recorded solid growth… New export orders continued to fall markedly, extending the current period of contraction to twenty months. That said, some manufacturers found that clients were undertaking a degree of import substitution and choosing to purchase where possible from Russian producers rather than those based abroad. …However, there were signs from the latest survey that these …impacts were dissipating."

So key points for Manufacturing were:

  • Production rises modestly, but new orders down at a sharper rate
  • Price indices fall sharply to signal much slower inflation
  • Focus on cost-rationalisation and higher productivity leads to modest job losses

Meanwhile, in Services sectors, per Markit, "seasonally adjusted HSBC Russia Services Business Activity Index… signalled a return to growth in April. The reading of 50.7 (up from 46.1) pointed to a marginal increase in activity at service providers, representing a marked turnaround from the substantial reductions seen in the early part of 2015. …Services companies mainly linked the improvement in activity to higher new orders. New business also returned to growth in April, ending a seven-month sequence of contraction. According to respondents, rising client demand had helped them to secure more new business during the month. …Meanwhile, services companies continued to lower their staffing levels in April, extending the current sequence of job shedding to 14 months. Although remaining solid, the rate of decline in employment eased for the second month in a row and was the slowest since October 2014."

Key points on Services PMI:

  • Russian private sector output returns to growth
  • Services new business increases
  • Further reductions in staffing levels

Overall, m/m, seasonally-adjusted PMIs posted a first monthly rise in Manufacturing sector and second consecutive monthly rise in Services sector. Rate of growth in Services PMIs (m/m) has been extremely robust in March and April.

This resulted in the seasonally adjusted Composite Output Index posting 50.8 in April, up from 46.8 in the previous month and above the 50.0 no-change mark for the first time in seven months. This marks second consecutive month of m/m growth in Composite PMI.

More on near-term dynamics of the indices in the following post that will cover BRIC economies PMIs. But overall, we have some encouraging signs of stabilisation in the economy. The signs are still fragile and manifested through moderating rate of contraction signalled in Manufacturing and a marginal rate of growth in Services, with both manifesting over only one month to-date. In other words, we will need much more positive data to confirm any potentially developing upside trend.