MNI Indicators poll: Russian companies slightly more upbeat in September

By Andrei Skvarsky.

A monthly survey by Deutsche Boerse-owned think tank MNI Indicators suggests that in September Russian companies were a little more optimistic about the current business environment in their country despite the China-led global equity and commodity rout of the previous month.

The London-headquartered research and intelligence company said in a statement, citing the returns of the survey, that loans had been more widely available in September after “credit was squeezed in August”, and that this “looks to have underpinned overall business sentiment”.

Citing the MNI Russia Business Sentiment Indicator, an index based on its surveys, MNI Indicators said there had been a bounceback in companies’ short-term outlook for business conditions “after having soured to an 18-month low in August”.

The surveys, which have been running since March 2013, are polls of executives at companies listed on Moscow Exchange. Altogether about 200 companies – manufacturing, service, construction and agricultural firms – are surveyed each month.

There was evidence that the ruble’s depreciation in recent months was “increasingly filtering through to inflation”, with Russian companies’ input costs hitting a four-month high in September, MNI Indicators said. A higher proportion of firms than ever before expected they would have to raise their own prices in the next three months.

Yet the weakened ruble had benefited companies business although it had not had any significant impact on export orders, the think tank said.

MNI Indicators chief economist Philip Uglow said in a comment on September’s survey: “Business confidence continued to build in September having been rising steadily since the start of the year. While still at a low level, it marks a notable improvement, with output and orders back in the black and companies reporting improved access to credit.”

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