S&P Global Services PMI: Renewed Expansion in February

The February US services purchasing managers' index (PMI) conducted by S&P Global came in at 50.6 percent, notably up from 46.8 in January and just slightly higher than the Investing.com forecast of 50.5. This morning's reading moves the index into expansion territory after being in contraction for seven months.

From the latest press release, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:

"A return to growth of US service sector business activity in February for the first time in eight months has offset a decline in manufacturing output, helping stabilize the economy and hopefully avert a downturn in the first quarter.

"The upturn was led by a revival in spending on services by consumers and improved activity in the tech sector, but was also aided by a marked cooling in the recent downturn in financial services.

"Across both services and manufacturing, jobs growth has risen to a five-month high as business confidence about the year ahead has perked up to its highest since last May, reviving further from the low point seen last October. Clearly the gloom heading into the winter has been replaced with brighter prospects moving into the spring.

"This improving picture has, however, added to firms' pricing power. Having fallen to a 27-month low in January, the rate of inflation for goods and services reaccelerated in February to its highest since last October as companies reported greater success in passing higher costs on to customers."

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