Markit US surveys for Feb 2021

Markit services chart
  • Highest since March 2015
  • Prior services 58.3
  • Manufacturing 58.5 vs 58.8 exp
  • Prior manufacturing 59.2
  • Composite 58.8 vs 58.7 prior

The services sector is holding up. There's plenty of optimism out there.

Here's the rub:

Input costs across manufacturing and services soared higher as demand outstripped supply, rising at by far the steepest rate since comparable data were first available in 2009.

It's not just input prices either. Firms raised their selling prices at the sharpest rate on record.

Commenting on the PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said:

"Despite headwinds of COVID-19, extreme weather and record supply chain delays, US businesses reported the fastest output growth for almost six years in February.

"The data add to signs that the economy is enjoying a strong opening quarter to 2021, buoyed by additional stimulus and the partial reopening of the economy as virus related restrictions were eased on average across the country.

"Business sentiment remains buoyant, boosted by hopes of further stimulus and the vaccine roll out, but it's disappointing to see this not yet translate into stronger jobs growth. Many service sector firms in particular remain reluctant to hire, cautious about adding to overheads.

"A concern is that firms costs have surged higher, driving selling prices for goods and services up at a survey record pace and hinting at a further increase in inflation."