Western Balkans citizens legally resident in EU equal to 14% of region’s population
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
Russia’s grain harvest may fall to 131mn tonnes in 2021 from 133mn tonnes in 2020
ING: Russia balance of payments: supportive of ruble in the near-term, but risks for 2H21 mount.
Jailed Russian opposition activist Navalny drops Putin corruption investigation bomb on his second day home
Russian opposition activist Navalny calls for supporters to take to the streets this weekend
Western Balkans and Ukraine urged to scrutinise coal subsidies
Oligarchs trying to derail Ukraine’s privatisation programme, warns the head of Ukraine’s State Property Fund
Private finance mobilised by development banks up 9% to $175bn in 2019
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
Hungarian vehicle makers hit by supply chain shortage
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Poland
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
BALKAN BLOG: US approach to switch from quick-fix dealmaking to experience and cooperation
Corona-induced slump in global clothing sector dragged down Albania’s 2020 exports
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Turnover rose on Bosnia's two stock exchanges in 2020 while prices fell
Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Montenegrins say state administration is most corrupt institution
North Macedonia plans to cut personal income tax in IT sector to zero in 2023
OUTLOOK 2021 Romania
Romania’s central bank cuts monetary policy rate by 25bp to 1.25%
Romanian construction companies' activity slows in November after intense 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovenia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Turkish lira breaches HSBC’s stop-loss, Turkey ETF signalling outflows
ISTANBUL BLOG: Biden must find a way to work with Trump’s strongman pal Erdogan
Turkcell denies any affiliation with $1.6bn loan in default extended by Ziraat Bank to Virgin Islands company
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
No US move to rejoin Iran nuclear deal imminent say Biden national security nominees
TEHRAN BLOG: Will Biden bet on a quick return to the Iran nuclear deal?
Tehran Stock Exchange chief quits amid “Black Monday” fury
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
Download the pdf version
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Russia Services Business Activity Index registered 48.2 in November, up from October's five-month low of 46.9, but still below the 50 no-change mark.
The contraction in services follows on from the manufacturing PMI’s fall to a six-month low of 46.3, down from 46.9 in October.
Taken together, the IHS Markit Composite PMI Output Index posted 47.8 in November, up slightly from 47.1 in October.
Russia’s economy bounced back from the lockdown in the spring and summer thanks to a surge in consumption. However, the economy started to slow again in September and that was compounded the start of a second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
The situation may improve in the coming months as the authorities get ready to start mass immunisations on December 11, which will see the first 2mn Russians inoculated.
Services output decreased for the second month running, but the rate of decline was much slower than that seen during the depths of the pandemic in April, reports Markit. Lower business activity was often linked by panellists to muted client demand and COVID-19 restrictions.
“November PMI data signalled a further contraction in business activity across the Russian service sector. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and related restrictions reportedly weighed on demand once again as output and new orders fell. That said, both measures declined at a softer pace. Foreign client demand deteriorated once again, and to the greatest extent for six months. Meanwhile, business confidence remained historically subdued as near-term uncertainty also weighed on employment,” Markit said in a press release.
At the same time, cost pressures intensified notably. Input prices rose at their sharpest pace since January 2019, with firms able to raise their output charges at a slightly faster rate.
On the price front, Russian service sector firms indicated the steepest rise in average cost burdens since January 2019, when the rate of value added tax (VAT) was increased. The marked uptick in input prices was often attributed to hikes in wages and additional business costs associated with making the workplace COVID-19 safe.
Despite muted demand conditions, service providers were able to raise their selling prices again in November.
Inflation was running at 4% in October but is expected to rise to 4.2% by the end of the year, slightly over the Central Bank of Russia's (CBR) target rate of 4%.
New business received by service providers also fell further in November, as subdued customer demand weighed on total sales. A number of firms stated that cashflow issues among customers has reduced their ability to make new orders, reports Markit.
Although the rate of contraction in new business eased to only a modest pace, firms registered a faster downturn in new export orders. The decline in foreign client demand was marked overall and the fastest since May.
In line with lower new orders, services firms reduced their workforce numbers for the third successive month midway through the fourth quarter. The fall was also attributed to increased redundancies. The pace of job shedding eased slightly from that seen in October, however.
Unemployment has increased markedly in the last year from post-Soviet lows of 4.2% to 6.3% in October, where the rate has remained steady for the last few months.
A drop in pressure on capacity was also reflected in a sharp decrease in backlogs of work in November. The rate of depletion quickened to its steepest since May, as lower new orders allowed firms to complete outstanding business.
Finally, business confidence regarding the outlook for output over the coming year improved in November, despite remaining historically subdued. Where optimism was reported, firms linked this to hopes of an end to the pandemic and an uptick in client demand.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: