Credit availability in Russia has been squeezed to a record low as Western sanctions impact companies' access to finance.
Companies have reported that credit availability has dropped 30% since January 2014, according to a new MNI Indicators report, leaving firms in the worst financial position since the survey began in March 2013.
A panel of Moscow Exchange-listed companies reported an increase in seasonal demand and an increase in sentiment of 4% to 49.2 in December.
But more than half of firms said overall business conditions had not improved since December, with a minority reporting that conditions had actually worsened.
"While this was the second consecutive month that business sentiment has increased, it remains deeply depressed. Weak demand has put upward pressure on stock levels while sharply higher inflationary pressures will likely depress activity further," said Philip Uglow, chief economist at MNI.
"A junk credit rating will add to the woes of large Russian companies who are already finding it difficult to service their existing debt, whilst the threat of additional sanctions threatens to cause the financial situation to deteriorate further," he said.
Russia's economy is widely expected to enter technical recession in 2015 and its credit rating was cut to junk this month by ratings agency Standard & Poor's. The drastic fall in oil prices hits the energy producer hard. Moscow relies on energy exports to fund around half if its state budget.
The sliding oil price has also weighed heavily on the ruble, which has lost more than half of its value in the past year.
Meanwhile, Western sanctions imposed over the Kremlin's alleged role in the Ukraine crisis have hampered Russian companies' access to global financial markets and effectively banned Western entities from doing business with certain Russian firms.