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Claus Vistesen and I also have a number of country briefings and study papers available for download in PDF format. The latest are:

Bank Rossii Eases Further As Russia's Economy Contracts At A Record Rate

The ECB's Balance Sheet At A Glance.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Russia Services PMI March 2008

Russian service industries including banking, telecommunications and hospitality expanded at a slightly slower pace in March than in February but still put in a "robust performance" according to the latest report on VTB Bank Europe's purchasing managers index of services growth, which declined to 57.2 in March from 57.5 in February. A figure above 50 on a PMI indicates expansion, and the seasonally adjusted services PMI is a composite of five differently weighted indexes including new business, business activity, employment, outstanding business and future business, according to VTB. VTB surveyed 300 purchasing managers at service companies.

The Russian economy is currently in its 10th consecutive year of economic growth, which is being boosted by rising wages and increased spending. Retail sales rose an annual 17 percent in February and wages increased 13.3 percent, reaching a monthly average of 15,214 rubles ($640), according to the Federal Statistics Service.

The survey did note however that rising fuel and labor costs were increasingly putting pressure on employers and this had resulted in slower new jobs growth in March.

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