S&P Global Services PMI: Sustained Growth in March

The March U.S. services purchasing managers' index (PMI) conducted by S&P Global came in at 52.1, just below the 52.2 forecast. The latest reading keeps the index in expansion territory for the 14th straight month.

From the latest press release, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:

"The US service sector reported a further rise in business activity in March, adding to signs that the economy enjoyed robust growth in the first quarter. Combined with an acceleration of growth in the manufacturing sector, the latest services PMI data point to GDP having risen at an approximate 2% annualized rate in the first three months of the year.

"Confidence in the outlook for the coming year has also lifted higher, which should help to sustain solid growth into the second quarter.

"The sustained upturn is being accompanied by renewed upward price pressures, however, with wage growth in particular driving costs higher. Rising raw material and fuel prices are also adding to cost burdens, which is in turn driving average selling prices for goods and services higher at a rate not seen since July of last year. Both manufacturers and services providers alike are seeing intensifying cost and selling price inflation rates, which is likely to feed through to higher consumer price inflation in the near term."

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

S&P Global Services PMI