Previously first quarter showed bumpy macro numbers, with industrial output falling behind expectations in March and slowing down from 1.5% y/y seen in February and 2.9% y/y in January.
The slight acceleration in April was due to the better performance in mining and manufacturing, while the industrial output print was held back by weather patterns returning to normal (that triggered electricity production back to 1.1% y/y), VTB Capital commented on May 21.
"We believe that the report provides evidence of a slightly better performance in the production of construction materials, which, in our view, hints at a recovery in construction works value too," VTB argues. April also had a favorable calendar factor, with one working day more than last year.
Manufacturing recovered to 1.1% y/y growth, after three months of a gradual slowdown, and besides construction benefited from electrical items and transport.
In April the Ministry of Economic Development has revised the target industrial output growth for 2018 to 1.7% from previous 2.5%, while stopping short of downgrading the GDP forecast of 2.1%.
"All in all, under such a weak trajectory of industrial production output, it is little wonder that the Economy Ministry downgraded the GDP results for January-February from the initial readings of around 1.7% y/y... to the current figure of 1.5% y/y (1.7% y/y in January and 1.3% y/y in February)," Alfa Bank said on April 17.