But January's reading was also revised lower and for the first quarter as a whole, the PMI suggested factory output rose at a quarterly rate of about 0.4 percent to 0.5 percent, slowing from 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Although the reading signalled a further improvement in the health of the sector, the latest upturn was only slight and the weakest recorded since last November.
The data for the Purchasing Managers' Index in Russian Federation is based on a survey among 300 companies in the manufacturing sector.
A PMI reading of 50 and above indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
But the performance completes a relatively weak quarter for the industry after a mini-boom at the end of past year.
The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by IHS Markit, fell to 51.0 last month from February's 52.1, well short of a Reuters poll median of 52.8.
"The key question is whether growth can now be sustained, albeit at a lower level, into the coming months", Dobson said.
Assad's media says main remaining rebel faction leaving Eastern Ghouta
Late on Saturday, negotiators reached a deal to evacuate wounded Jaish al Islam civilians and fighters to Idlib in the northwest. A state television correspondent reported that the "implementation phase of removing" Jaysh al-Islam from Douma began on Monday.
Turkish manufacturing activity expanded for the 13th consecutive month in March, albeit at a far slower pace, driven by greater volumes of new orders, higher production and higher employment, a survey showed on Monday.
However, chances for manufacturers to make a profit look to have increased because they were able to raise output prices at the fastest pace in three months as the jump in input costs dipped to its lowest level in nine months.
Output growth picked up, although this was offset by slower increases in both new orders and employment, data showed.
There are six sub-indices included within the manufacturing report, which include: chemicals and biotech, electronics and opto-electronics, transportation, electricity and machinery, food and textiles, as well as infrastructure and raw materials.
The growth in manufacturing sector deaccelerated to a five month low in March. This is partly caused by the weaker Indonesian rupiah (against the USA dollar).
"Indeed, amid a slower expected pace of recovery in consumer spending, IHS Markit marginally downgraded its real gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to 7.3% for 2017-2018 fiscal", said Dodhia.
Output rose for the 14th straight month in the face of "stronger underlying demand". Any figure above the 50.0 threshold is indicative of an expansion in the sector.