Business Activity At Weakest Rate in Nine Months -- IHS Markit
By Allison Prang
Business activity nationwide expanded last month at its weakest rate in nine months as input costs rose.
IHS Markit's final January reading of its U.S. Services Business Activity Index was 53.3. In December, it was 53.7.
IHS Markit said the amount of outstanding business increased, as did backlogs. Input costs and average prices charged went up. IHS Markit said raw material prices, particularly fuel, also rose, according to survey respondents.
Business confidence hit its highest point in three months and was "widely attributed to planned investment and expectations of stronger client demand," IHS Markit said.
The firm's final U.S. Composite PMI Output Index fell to 53.8 in January from its December reading of 54.1.
"A slowdown in the service sector comes as a disappointment, though was partially offset by faster manufacturing growth during the month," IHS Markit Chief Business Economist Chris Williamson said in prepared remarks. "Combined, the two [Purchasing Managers' Index] surveys point to the economy expanding at a reasonably solid, albeit not exciting, 2-2.5% annualised rate at the start of the first quarter."
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 05, 2018 10:32 ET (15:32 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.