Russia's purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector stood at 42 in March, increasing from a reading of 40.6 in February, the VTB Capital reportedly said on Wednesday. The index remained in contraction for the eighth consecutive month in March, marking a longer period of contraction than in 1998.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 signals contraction.

In March, stock of unsold goods and the new orders declined, although the drop in the new orders was at a slower pace.

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