The purchasing managers' index "was above neutrality in March, indicating an overall improvement in business conditions at Russia goods producers," the HSBC Markit Economics report said.
The headline index, the PMI, slipped from 52 to 50.8 in the month.
New business growth was maintained, but at a reduced rate March, coming in a the slowest growth rate of the year "and broadly in line with the average over the current 18-month sequence of gains," Markit said.
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