29.12.201701:41:00UTC+00Russia's Service Sector Activity Expands More Than Forecast

Russia's service sector activity expanded more than expected in December but the pace of growth slowed from November, survey results from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The IHS Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 56.8 in December from 57.4 in November.

Nonetheless, a score above 50 indicates expansion and this was the second highest since January. Also, the reading was above the expected level of 55.6.

At the same time, the composite PMI dropped to 56.0 in December from 56.3 in November. The index signaled a slightly slower expansion at the end of the year, despite an accelerated manufacturing output upturn.

Growth in new business in services softened in December but remained above the long-run series average. Meanwhile, employment rose solidly and at the second-quickest rate since May 2013.

On the price front, inflationary pressures remained subdued in the service sector. Although charge inflation accelerated slightly, it was muted in the context of the series history.

Further, the survey showed that business confidence was robust and the second highest since December 2012.

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