Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Upturn in Business Buoys the Services Sector

The services sector expanded further in February, led by an upturn in business and activity growth, Moscow Narodny Bank said Wednesday.

The bank's Services Purchasing Managers' Index, which provides a single figure measure of the services economy, rose to a seasonally adjusted 57.9, a level indicative of substantial growth.

Readings above 50 signal expansion on the previous month, readings below 50 point to contraction. In January, the index rose for a 16th successive month, to 56.9.

"The business expectations index continues to suggest a significant degree of optimism with regards to future business across all sectors," Moscow Narodny Bank manager Jeff Forster was quoted as saying in a statement.

"The rebound in this month's survey continues to suggest a buoyant Russian services sector, with the expansion in the PMI being driven by improvements in domestic market activity and higher levels of incoming businesses."

Strong services sector performance was mainly the result of a strong rise in levels of new incoming orders, the bank said.

Improvement in domestic market activity was driving new business expansion in February. Successful marketing campaigns and new product launches also contributed to rising sales.

The latest data on employment revealed a further rise in the size of the services sector work force, although the rate of growth continued to slow in February.