The April US Services Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 53.1 percent, up 0.3 percent from the March estimate. The consensus was for 52.5 percent. Markit's Services PMI is a diffusion index: A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector; below 50 indicates contraction.

Here is the opening from the latest press release:

Growth of business activity was sustained in April, albeit at a relatively modest pace in line with fairly limited gains in new orders. With companies able to comfortably deal with current workloads, staffing levels rose at the slowest pace in nearly seven years.

On the price front, input costs increased at a sharper rate, but competitive pressures meant that charges were raised to the weakest degree for five months.

The seasonally adjusted Markit U.S Services Business Activity Index continued to record above the crucial 50.0 no-change mark during April, registering 53.1, up from 52.8 in the previous month. Growth in activity has now been recorded in each survey period since March 2016. [Press Release]

Here is a snapshot of the series since mid-2012.

Markit Services PMI