Markit Services PMI: Business Activity Growth Accelerates in July

The July US Services Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 54.7 percent, up 0.5 percent from the June estimate. The consensus was for 54.2 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:

July survey data signalled a solid expansion in business activity among US service providers. New orders received by firms increased at the fastest pace for two years, which in turn contributed to a stronger rise in backlogs of work. As a result, firms increased their staff numbers at the quickest pace since last December. At the same time, inflationary pressures remained relatively strong, and business confidence suggestive of ongoing expansion in coming months.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit U.S. Services Business Activity Index registered 54.7 in July, up from 54.2 in June. The latest reading signalled the largest expansion of business activity since January and the fourth consecutive month of accelerated growth. Despite being marginally below the longrun series average, the latest upturn in activity was solid overall. [Press Release]

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

Markit Services PMI