Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 

Services growth slows in February: Markit

Send a link to a friend  Share

[February 25, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters)  Growth in the services sector as well as the pace of hiring slowed in February, an industry report showed on Monday, the latest data to suggest an unusually cold winter is dragging on economic activity.

Financial data firm Markit said its "flash" or preliminary services sector purchasing managers index slipped to 52.7 in February from 56.7 in January. A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

Service sector employers continued adding staff, but at the slowest pace in almost a year. At 52.0, down from 54.1 in January, the employment component notched its lowest reading since March 2013.

"The unusually severe winter weather undoubtedly looks to have taken its toll on the economy in the first quarter," said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist.


A range of U.S. economic data have recently suggested that the cold weather that's dumped snow across the country has hit economic activity, from a slump in home building and sales to factory output.

"However, companies clearly remained in expansion mode, with just over half of all firms expecting activity to rise over the coming year against just 3 percent expecting a decline," Williamson added.

This month's preliminary composite PMI, a weighted average of manufacturing and services indexes that was also reported by Markit on Monday, fell to 53.5 from 56.2 in January.

[to top of second column]

The employment component of that index slipped to 52.4 in February from 53.9 in January, matching its level of November.

But backlogs of work grew, moving into expansion after having posted a contraction in the previous month.

(Reporting by Luciana Lopez; editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Recent articles

Back to top