By Andrei Skvarsky.
Surveys by an intelligence subsidiary of Deutsche Boerse suggest that Russia’s business community has been increasingly optimistic in February, March and April.
The returns of April’s survey led the MNI Indicators intelligence firm to a surmise that “the long-term decline in the Russian economy may have ended”. After a long time, optimists outnumbered pessimists, albeit only slightly.
Companies increased production 4.7% on the month, were more upbeat about the next three months, and inflationary pressures eased, MNI Indicators said in a statement, citing April’s iteration of the MNI Russia Business Sentiment survey, a monthly poll of executives at about 200 companies listed on the Moscow Exchange.
In terms of MNI Indicators’ metrics, business sentiment in Russia was up 10.4% on the year.
On a negative note, the strengthening of the rouble over the past few months had been a hindrance rather than a help to Russian companies, MNI Indicators said.
MNI Indicators chief economist Philip Uglow said the poll “provides further evidence that the Russian economy could be through the worst”.
“Notably there was a third consecutive increase in sentiment and a significant jump in expectations. Confidence, though, remains at a low level with output and orders still not expanding,” Uglow said.
MNI Indicators bases monthly updates of the MNI Russia Business Sentiment Indicator on the returns of the surveys, which it launched in March 2013 and which are computer-aided telephone interviews (CATI) with executives at manufacturing, service, construction and agricultural companies.