U.S. SERVICES SECTOR ACTIVITY JUMPS IN FEBRUARY

U.S. SERVICES SECTOR ACTIVITY JUMPS IN FEBRUARY

On Tuesday, an industry report showed that in February the U.S. services sector expanded at its fastest pace since October last year, with many businesses reporting a boost in customer orders which has been brought about by great economic conditions.

Markit, a financial data firm in the U.S. stated that its preliminary reading of its managers purchasing index for the service industry rose by 3 to 57.0 in February. In January the figure was at 54.2.
The report by Markit outpaced the forecast of many including a Reuters survey of economist which indicated that the figure will be at 54.o for the month of February.

The company’s reading of new business at service based companies in the month of February surged from January’s figure of 51.7 to 56.7. The January reading which stood at 51.7 was the lowest reading in the history of the company service sector series which dates back to the month of October 2009.

“While parts of the East Coast have struggled in the face of adverse weather, other regions basked in unusually warm temperatures, boosting business above seasonal norms," said Chris Williamson who is the chief economist at Markit. "Activity levels surged higher and inflows of new business boomed as a result."

Last week, Markit stated that its flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for February rose from its initial figure of 53.9 which was recorded in January to 54.3.

“Alongside the upturn signaled by the sister ‘flash’ manufacturing PMI survey, the improved performance of the service sector in February means the economy looks to be enjoying yet another spell of robust growth in the first quarter," Williamson said.

According to the survey the U.S. domestic product is growing at 3% or more annually, Williamson added.

Posted by Helen Fowler 4/2/15

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