Tag Archives: pace

Max Verstappen unfazed by Lewis Hamilton’s British GP pace – ‘It doesn’t mean anything’

Max Verstappen unfazed by Lewis Hamilton's British GP pace - 'It doesn't mean anything'

Championship leader Max Verstappen was left frustrated as he starts from second on the grid for Saturday’s sprint qualifying race, as he battles it out with Lewis Hamilton for pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix

Hamilton heads up the grid as he was cheered on by thousands of home fans ahead of the main event at the end of the weekend, as he stunned around Silverstone.

Hamilton was looking to bounce back this weekend, a track he’s won at seven times, as Red Bull have dominated for the past five races.

Verstappen meanwhile was heard complaining on the radio of understeer, as the Dutchman struggle to find any grip in his Red Bull around the Northampton circuit.

Hamilton lit up the timing screens his final run, and was on course to better his time of a 1:26.7706s, but was hampered by a huge slide in the final sector.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas will line up third on the grid tomorrow, in a 17 lap race that will decide Sunday’s grid for the British Grand Prix, with three Britons in the top ten.

Toto Wolff to decide George Russell and Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes fate

Yet, clearly frustrated, Verstappen, who had been fastest in the morning practice session, said he wasn’t at surprised by the pace of the Mercedes, who have struggled to hook it up for the past five races.

“No [I am not surprised by Lewis Hamilton’s pace], we need to look at ourselves.

“The car itself was handling quite well but there was a lot of understeer, so I couldn’t really attack too many corners.

“I was waiting for the front to grip up, but It was a weird feeling to drive.

“I don’t think it was set-up or front wing-related, it is what it is, we are still quite close”

Toto Wolff to decide George Russell and Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes fate
Russell eager for Mercedes shot to test himself against Hamilton
Toto Wolff warns of Red Bull pace ahead of British Grand Prix

“It’s a bit of a weird feeling, to be honest, you do qualify and you go flat out and actually doesn’t really mean anything in terms of pole position, so we’ll see tomorrow.

“I think we have a strong race car just need to fix a bit the issues we had in qualifying.

“I’ve got confidence we can have a strong race.”

Sprint qualifying gets underway at 4:30pm tomorrow after a second practice session on Saturday morning, with the results deciding the grid for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

Pace of US inflation picks up again in test for Fed

Pace of US inflation picks up again in test for Fed

The breakneck pace of US consumer price increases seen since the start of the year accelerated in June in a challenge to the Federal Reserve’s case that the burst of inflationary pressures accompanying the economic reopening will prove temporary.

The consumer price index rose last month at the fastest pace since August 2008, up 5.4 per cent from the previous year. That is well above the 5 per cent rise reported in May and the 4.9 per cent increase that economists had forecast.

On a monthly basis, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed price gains of 0.9 per cent, the biggest one-month jump since June 2008.

Stripping out volatile items like food and energy, “core” CPI rose from 3.8 per cent in May relative to the year before to 4.5 per cent in June.

Investors, economists and policymakers have scrutinised incoming inflation figures amid a fierce debate about the risk of runaway consumer prices fuelled by ultra-accommodative fiscal and monetary policy.

Price jumps have so far been most significant for sectors directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Travel-related expenses, such as airfares, have soared, while a semiconductor shortage has contributed to a jump in used car prices. 

One-third of the rise in the CPI last month stemmed from a record jump in previously-owned vehicle prices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which appreciated 10.5 per cent in June from the previous month.

The US central bank has long characterised elevated inflation prints as “transitory”, which will fade as Covid-19 lockdowns ease further and supply catches up with pent-up demand. Joe Biden’s administration shares this view, and a White House official expressed confidence that inflationary pressures would soon abate.

Market measures of inflation expectations also reflect ebbing concerns about runaway consumer prices, with long-dated metrics running below their short-term counterparts. But some investors warn that higher inflation could persist for longer than many anticipate.

“Most of the increase in the monthly metrics still look related to massive supply-demand imbalances in categories that were ‘closed’ in 2020: used cars, hotel rooms, travel costs, and so forth,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Supply will eventually normalise in these categories, but it could take longer than common sense suggests, meaning that somewhat elevated inflation prints could last until 2022.”

US government bonds pared back recent gains after Tuesday’s release, sending yields higher from the recent lows seen since the Fed’s meeting on monetary policy in June, which raised the prospect of a quicker withdrawal of accommodation than initially expected.

The benchmark 10-year note traded 0.02 percentage points higher before settling around 1.38 per cent.

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This post originally posted here International homepage

US economy adds 850000 jobs as hiring gains pace

US economy adds 850,000 jobsThe US economy created 850,000 jobs in June, which US president Joe Biden has hailed as “historic progress” towards recovering from the Covid-19 shock, as hiring catches up with the unrelenting demand for workers.

Non-farm payrolls data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday came in well above economists’ expectations of 720,000 jobs created for the month, surpassing the upwardly revised 583,000 gain posted in May and an unexpectedly weak 278,000 new hires in April.

“We have now created over 3m jobs since I took office, more jobs than have ever been created in the first five months of any presidency in modern history,” Biden said in a speech at the White House after the data release. “This is historic progress, pulling our economy out of the worst crisis in 100 years.”

Despite the increase in payrolls — the largest in 10 months — the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5.9 per cent from 5.8 per cent the month before.

“It was a solid report, [one] you would hope for given the reopening has continued to gather pace,” said Lee Ferridge, head of macro strategy for North America at State Street Global Markets.

The June report landed at a critical juncture for the US economy. Easing lockdown measures and generous government stimulus programmes have fuelled a robust rebound in economic growth this year. US consumer prices have in turn surged as supply chain constraints have hampered some businesses’ ability to meet red-hot consumer demand.

Crippling labour shortages have also hamstrung employers, as childcare constraints and fears about catching Covid-19 dissuade people from returning to the workforce. Some businesses blame unemployment benefits for holding up the jobs recovery, prompting several Republican-leaning US states to slash aid.

Companies have begun raising wages and handing out perks to attract new hires. Friday’s report suggested those measures have balanced some of the labour market mismatches.

“Instead of workers competing with each other for jobs that are scarce, employers are competing with each other to attract workers,” Biden said. “That kind of competition in the market doesn’t just give workers more ability to earn higher wages, it also gives them the power to demand to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace.”

“More jobs, better wages. That’s a good combination,” the president added. “Put simply, our economy is on the move.”

Hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector picked up, with 343,000 jobs created for the month. Average hourly earnings jumped for these workers, with 2.3 per cent month-over-month gains for those in non-supervisory positions. Retailers also revved up hiring, filling 67,000 new jobs. Other sectors including public and private education and professional and business services saw improvements.

Construction was one of the “surprising weak spots” last month, said Thomas Simons, an economist at Jefferies, especially in light of the booming US housing market. The number of jobs in the sector fell 7,000 in the third straight month of declines. He attributed the drop to a “worker availability issue more than anything else”.

The labour force participation rate, which tracks the number of Americans either employed or looking for a job, held steady in June at 61.6 per cent. It has remained stuck below 62 per cent since last year.

“It does play into the narrative that there is a block of workers that haven’t re-entered the labour force this summer,” Ferridge said.

Average hourly earnings more broadly edged 10 cents higher to $ 30.40, amounting to a 0.3 per cent gain from the month before. On a year-over-year basis, earnings have increased 3.6 per cent.

The strong jobs report helped to bolster the case made by a cohort of US central bankers that the Federal Reserve should begin to consider withdrawing its monetary policy support as it closes in on “substantial further progress” towards averaging 2 per cent inflation and achieving full employment. That has long been the threshold for any adjustment to the Fed’s $ 120bn monthly asset purchase programme.

Fed chair Jay Powell and other members of the Federal Open Market Committee have instead urged patience — a message they sought to hammer home last month following the release of the US central bank’s “dot plot” of individual interest rate projections, which signalled a potentially more hawkish stance than many had anticipated.

Despite June’s gains, US employment remains far below its pre-pandemic levels. More than 9m people are still unemployed, compared to 5.7m in February 2020.

Biden argued on Friday that passing his sweeping infrastructure proposals would fuel further economic recovery. Last week, the White House struck a deal with a small bipartisan group of senators on a $ 1tn investment package. However, the deal will need sign-off from both the House of Representatives and the Senate to become law.

US government bonds fell marginally after the unexpectedly jobs strong report on Friday, with the benchmark 10-year note steady at 1.45 per cent.

Author: Colby Smith in New York and Lauren Fedor in Washington
Read more here >>> International homepage

Nintendo Still Isn't Totally Confident Switch Production Can Keep Pace With Demand

Switch Retail Boxes© Nintendo Life

Last month tech giant Samsung voiced its concern over semiconductor shortages affecting the production of electronics.

With this in mind, Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa has now provided an update to Nikkei about the Japanese company’s Switch hardware production – stating how it’s been “able to secure the necessary materials” in order to continue producing semiconductors in the immediate future.

However, in Japan and around the globe, there’s still the possibility of system shortages at retailers in the future due to ongoing demand. Here’s the full translation (thanks, VGC):

“We have been able to secure the necessary materials for the immediate production of semiconductors for Switches. However, in Japan and other countries, demand has been very strong since the beginning of the year, and there is a possibility of shortages at some retailers in the future. It is difficult to say how we will deal with this, but in some cases we may not be able to prepare enough for orders.”

Furukawa’s latest interview lines up Bloomberg’s sources last month suggesting Nintendo would face the same challenges as its rivals this year – a shortage of tech and components:

“Beyond securing silicon from the likes of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the Switch maker also faces scarcity of more generic parts like display driver integrated circuits and Bluetooth modules, people familiar with its operations said.”

Even before the pandemic, Nintendo was struggling to keep the system in stock. As of December last year, the unit has shifted 79.87 million units worldwide. In addition to this are scalpers, which are taking advantage of the limited supplies.

To top it off, there have been rumours in recent times about Nvidia stopping production of the Tegra X1 Mariko (the SoC powering both Switch) and Nintendo releasing a system with a Samsung display.

Have you had any issues getting hold of a new Nintendo Switch in recent times? Tell us down below.

After slow start, Texas lawmakers pick up the pace on GOP priorities as legislative session passes halfway mark

After slow start, Texas lawmakers pick up the pace on GOP priorities as legislative session passes halfway mark

After a slower-than-usual start thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and last month’s winter storm, lawmakers in the Texas Capitol this week marked the passage of the halfway point of this year’s legislative session by ramping up their work on a host of their Republican leaders’ priorities.

Work has progressed in earnest in the House and Senate on legislation related to imposing new restrictions on voting[1], expanding broadband access[2], protecting funding for local police departments[3] and updating the state government’s ability[4] to prevent and respond to emergencies like those that have recently plagued Texas. Committees have started to meet more frequently and bills are advancing, with both chambers now passing legislation with some regularity.

“This is when things get really fun at the Capitol,” new House Speaker Dade Phelan[5], R-Beaumont, said Tuesday at a Texas Young Republicans event. “This is when the rubber meets the road, right?”

Lawmakers still have a lot to do with less than 70 days left on the clock, though leaders in both chambers say they are on the same page with the business that remains.

The optimism comes after a two-week stretch dominated by a tense standoff[6] among the House, Senate and Gov. Greg Abbott[7] over a bill seeking to retroactively reduce wholesale energy prices during the winter storm. The bill was championed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick[8]. While he ultimately did not get his way — at least for now — he appears to be looking past the rocky chapter.

“We’re all in this together with our priorities,” Patrick said at the Young Republicans dinner, which Abbott also attended. “We’ve pretty much matched up our bills, and we’re gonna have a very successful session.”

Abbott has spent recent weeks traveling the state to promote his agenda, and he was in the Dallas area on Monday to talk about legislation to protect businesses that opened during the coronavirus pandemic from related lawsuits. It is one of five emergency items that Abbott designated during his State of the State speech[9] in early February, along with expanding broadband internet access, punishing local governments that “defund the police” as he defines it, changing the bail system and ensuring what he described as “election integrity.”

Abbott’s agenda got a shakeup, though, following the winter storm that battered the state weeks after his State of the State speech, killing at least 111[10] people and leaving millions of Texans in the cold and dark. He responded by adding three more emergency items: reforming the state’s power grid operator, “winterizing” power plants and correcting any whole electricity billing errors.

Abbott’s office said it’s optimistic that his priorities are on the right track, including those that came before the winter storm scrambled the Capitol agenda.

“With the legislative session passing the halfway mark, we have seen meaningful progress on these emergency items as they make their way through the legislative process,” Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said in a statement for this story.

In the Senate, Patrick has designated 31 priority bills[11]. As of Thursday, more than half — 16 — had at least gotten a committee hearing. Seven of those bills had been voted out of committees. And two of them had been approved by the full Senate.

Both of the priority bills that have already gone through the upper chamber deal with the pandemic. Senate Bill 25[12] would give nursing-home residents the right to have a designated caretaker visit them regularly during a public health emergency. SB 26[13] prohibits the state government from mandating the closure of places of worship, even in cases like public health crises.

Still, responding to last month’s power crisis has been at the top of the Legislature’s radar, and both chambers in recent days have moved quickly to usher through legislation to the entire chamber for debate. On Thursday, a Senate committee approved legislation — SB 3[14] — that would overhaul the state’s energy industry. And early next week, the full House will consider a slate of the speaker’s priorities[15] on the issue.

Most of the drama at the Capitol this week though centered on two election bills that have been prioritized by GOP state leaders[16] and criticized by Democrats and voting rights groups.

On Monday, Democrats on the Senate State Affairs Committee temporarily derailed discussion on SB 7[17] — the chamber’s priority election bill that would constrain local initiatives widening voter access in urban areas, made up largely by people of color, that favor Democrats. The Democrats used a procedural rule to delay consideration of the bill, though it was taken up again on Friday, along with 10 other election-related bills that would largely further tighten the state’s already restrictive voting laws.

The House’s version of the legislation faced a different derailment Thursday during a House Elections Committee hearing on House Bill 6[18] by Rep. Briscoe Cain[19], a Deer Park Republican who chairs the committee.

After a tense exchange with state Rep. Jessica González[20], a Dallas Democrat who serves as vice chair of the committee, Cain ended the hearing abruptly without specifying a time for members to reconvene later that day. That error meant the committee could not meet again Thursday, according to House rules, postponing the consideration of Cain’s election bill and meaning that more than 100 members of the public who had signed up to testify on the bill would not be able to speak at the hearing. That group included one of the state’s best-known Democrats, Beto O’Rourke, who had driven from his far-away El Paso hometown to testify.

By Friday afternoon[21], Cain’s bill was rescheduled for an April 1 hearing, according to a committee hearing posting notice.

Before the Thursday hearing ended, González had pushed to recognize state Rep. Nicole Collier[22], a Fort Worth Democrat who chairs the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. Cain said he would not recognize a non-committee member to speak from the dais.

In a statement later Thursday[23], Collier said Cain had refused “to allow a duly elected, Black woman from fully participating in the legislative process.”

“Our voices matter,” she said. “Without a single Black voice on the elections committee, I owe it to my constituency and to every Texas voter who will potentially be deterred or intimidated from voting to fight back.”

Two other House committees — State Affairs and Homeland Security & Public Safety — on Thursday held marathon hearings into Friday morning. The state affairs committee signed off on HB 5[24], a bill that would expand broadband access across the state, before it heard testimony on a number of bills, such as one that would ban the use of taxpayer dollars on lobbying and several related to anti-“defund the police” efforts.

The Legislature couldn’t vote on legislation within the first 60 days of the session, which began Jan. 12, unless the proposals had been declared an “emergency item” by the governor.

The entire House also began passing its first bills of the session this week, signing off on several pieces of legislation, including one that would permanently allow[25] beer, wine and mixed drinks to be included in pickup and delivery food orders. While not an emergency item, Abbott had repeatedly voiced support for the proposal.

On Tuesday, the lower chamber is scheduled to consider a number of proposals related to last month’s winter storm, such as one that would mandate the weatherization of power plants and another that would reform the board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s electric grid.

The Senate, meanwhile, has fast-tracked legislation that would shake up the board of the Public Utility Commission, which regulates the state’s electric, water and telecommunication industries. That legislation, SB 2154[26] by state Sen. Charles Schwertner[27], R-Georgetown, was filed Monday, flew through a Senate committee and was approved unanimously Thursday by the Senate. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

The House has also considered legislation aimed at addressing the governor’s powers, with perhaps the most notable proposal[28]HB 3[29] by state Rep. Dustin Burrows[30], R-Lubbock — still pending in a committee after a hearing on the legislation earlier this month. That legislation would, among other things, create a legislative oversight committee that in some cases would have the authority to terminate a pandemic disaster declaration issued by the governor.

The Senate has taken a more piecemeal approach to the governor’s powers, as shown by its passage of the legislation shielding nursing homes and churches from total shutdowns.

Shawn Mulcahy contributed to this story.


  1. ^ restrictions on voting (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ expanding broadband access (www.texastribune.org)
  3. ^ protecting funding for local police departments (www.texastribune.org)
  4. ^ updating the state government’s ability (www.texastribune.org)
  5. ^ Dade Phelan (www.texastribune.org)
  6. ^ tense standoff (www.texastribune.org)
  7. ^ Greg Abbott (www.texastribune.org)
  8. ^ Dan Patrick (www.texastribune.org)
  9. ^ State of the State speech (www.texastribune.org)
  10. ^ killing at least 111 (www.texastribune.org)
  11. ^ designated 31 priority bills (www.texastribune.org)
  12. ^ Senate Bill 25 (capitol.texas.gov)
  13. ^ SB 26 (capitol.texas.gov)
  14. ^ SB 3 (www.texastribune.org)
  15. ^ a slate of the speaker’s priorities (www.texastribune.org)
  16. ^ prioritized by GOP state leaders (www.texastribune.org)
  17. ^ SB 7 (capitol.texas.gov)
  18. ^ House Bill 6 (capitol.texas.gov)
  19. ^ Briscoe Cain (www.texastribune.org)
  20. ^ Jessica González (www.texastribune.org)
  21. ^ By Friday afternoon (capitol.texas.gov)
  22. ^ Nicole Collier (www.texastribune.org)
  23. ^ In a statement later Thursday (twitter.com)
  24. ^ HB 5 (capitol.texas.gov)
  25. ^ one that would permanently allow (www.texastribune.org)
  26. ^ SB 2154 (capitol.texas.gov)
  27. ^ Charles Schwertner (www.texastribune.org)
  28. ^ the most notable proposal (www.texastribune.org)
  29. ^ HB 3 (capitol.texas.gov)
  30. ^ Dustin Burrows (www.texastribune.org)

Patrick Svitek and Cassandra Pollock

How to live longer: Jogging pace may influence how long you live – how fast to run

How to live longer: Jogging pace may influence how long you live - how fast to run

According to the health body, there are many types of trainers on the market, so get advice from a specialist running retailer, who’ll assess your foot and find the right shoe for you.

“To avoid injury and enjoy the experience, it’s essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings,” it advises.

If running is not suitable for you, there are a host of other exercises that can boost your health.

Swimming is one such alternative.

Max Verstappen makes Mercedes and McLaren prediction after Red Bull star sets Bahrain pace

Max Verstappen makes Mercedes and McLaren prediction after Red Bull star sets Bahrain pace
Max Verstappen expects Mercedes to be Red Bull’s main rivals despite a strong showing from McLaren in both of Friday’s practice sessions at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lando Norris was second in the first session and third in the second in the MCL35M while Hamilton was fourth and then third in Mercedes’ W12.

Valtteri Bottas slumped to fifth in FP2 after being second only to Verstappen in FP1 as the Dutchman topped the time-sheets in both sessions.

McLaren’s third-placed finish in 2020 was their best season since 2012 and they have added in Daniel Ricciardo, who managed two podiums for Renault in 2020, alongside Norris for this season.

The Australian went only ninth fastest in the first session but improved to P6 under the lights as both Mercedes-powered orange cars showed excellent pace.

Yet despite Mercedes’ troubles, with Red Bull carrying a pace advantage into FP3 and qualifying on Saturday, Verstappen expects the world champions to be closer to them than McLaren.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 to reflect on Friday’s running, Verstappen said: “It was alright. Of course different conditions again compared to testing. It’s been alright.

“Good feeling in the car. Of course there’s still things to look into, tyre-wise as well, and a bit of balance tuning. Overall I’m pretty happy.

“Still, tomorrow is again a different day. Even more windy, which with these cars is quite tricky. We’ll have to try and be on it. But a good start to the weekend.”

Asked if McLaren could be bigger rivals than Mercedes to his team, Verstappen was confident the Silver Arrows will be back to their best soon enough.

He said: “I don’t think so. I still expect Mercedes to be the strongest Mercedes-powered car.”

Seven-time world champion Hamilton reflected: “We thought Red Bull would be as fast as they are if not faster. We know they’re leading at the moment.
“I don’t think we’re the fastest at the moment but we’re not far off. We have a clear target of where we want to be. We’ll see tomorrow.

“The main thing in my mind is that we still have plenty of work to do if we want to fight for the pole and for the win.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff insists it is not yet truly clear where the Brackley-based outfit stand compared to their rivals and in particular to title hopefuls Red Bull.

“It’s just a real dogfight when you overlay the fastest laps and even the long runs, it’s just so very close,” he said.

“Every kg in fuel load can make quite a big swing. So we don’t really know. I think we’re definitely closer here than we’ve been in testing. But I wouldn’t know where to position us versus Red Bull.”

China’s exports surge at record pace from coronavirus-battered levels

China saw its trade booming in the first two months of the year, with exports rising more than 60 percent in January-February compared to 2020 lows, when the Covid-19 outbreak rattled the world’s second-largest economy.

Last month alone, outbound shipments spiked 154.9 percent year-on-year, marking a record monthly surge for Chinese exports. The sharp increase in exports, which was much higher than economists’ predictions, is partly explained by the low base from 2020, when exports fell over 17 percent as the government imposed lockdowns to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
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The surge in exports also came due to strong overseas demand for Chinese goods, with the US and Europe remaining the biggest destinations for Chinese shipments. According to China’s General Administration of Customs, stimulus measures in major economies have also helped to elevate consumer demand for made-in-China products. 

Moreover, this year many Chinese firms stayed open during the traditionally long Lunar New Year holidays as workers were encouraged to stay at their workplaces instead of going to their hometowns. The customs agency said that this allowed exporters to deliver orders faster than usual for this period. 

Read more China’s economy could double in size by 2035, eclipsing US along the way – Bank of America

Imports also jumped in the January-February period, rising more than 22 percent compared with a year ago. Skyrocketing exports and growing imports allowed overall trade to rise over 41 percent in dollar terms and 32 percent in yuan terms in two months year-on-year. While that is compared to the low base of 2020, the growth was significant even when contrasted with pre-crisis years.

“Even when compared with normal years, such as the comparable periods in 2018 and 2019, growth in China’s overall trade was around 20 percent,” customs said.

Robust exports and imports have helped China to become the only major economy to see growth in 2020. The world’s second-largest economy expanded 2.3 percent last year, its weakest result in decades, but most of its global peers contracted or even fell into recession. Beijing has recently set a growth target for 2021, expecting its gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by six percent.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


Russian factory activity grows at fastest pace in two years

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Russian factory activity grows at fastest pace in two years

Russia’s manufacturing sector in February saw its fastest growth since April 2019. The expansion was underpinned by robust output and new order growth, according to survey data published by IHS Markit on Monday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the sector grew to 51.5 in February against January’s 50.9, the research group reports. The pace of decline in export business reportedly slowed, but orders remained robust, while employment grew the most in over two years.
Also on rt.com Russian e-commerce market posts explosive growth during Covid pandemic
“Russian manufacturing firms continued to signal a promising start to 2021, as operating conditions improved for the second month running. Output and new order growth accelerated despite difficult external demand conditions,” the report said.

Business confidence returned to levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic, the highest in over a year.

“Supplier shortages and hikes in transportation costs pushed up input prices markedly. Firms were able to respond, however, with the fastest uptick in charges for six years,” it explained.

However, vendor performance declined at its fastest pace since May 2020 as lead time for inputs were longer, mainly due to shipping delays along with supplier shortages.
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“Our current forecast expects industrial production to rise 4.1 percent in 2021, as the sector seeks to recover from the downturn seen in 2020,” IHS Markit economist Sian Jones said.

PMI, an indicator of the economic health of a sector, is based on data compiled after monthly surveys are sent to purchasing executives at nearly 300 companies. The index draws on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries, and the employment environment. A reading above 50 means expansion in the sector on a monthly basis, while anything below 50 indicates contraction.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section