IHS Markit’s U.S. Price Gauges Reach Highest in Records to 2009

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Measures of prices paid and charged by U.S. businesses jumped in February to the highest levels in records back to 2009, fanning concerns of accelerating inflation.

While higher raw materials costs along with supply-chain and transportation challenges drove up prices, demand strengthened at services providers and remained robust at manufacturers, according to IHS Markit data issued Friday.

The group’s flash composite index of business activity edged up to 58.8, the highest since 2015, from 58.7 a month earlier. Readings above 50 indicate growth.

IHS Markit’s U.S. Price Gauges Reach Highest in Records to 2009

“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,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement.

“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,” Williamson said.

The IHS Markit’s flash services PMI also rose to the highest level since March 2015 as virus-related restrictions began to ease. The group’s manufacturing index, however, declined as supply shortages led to the longest delivery times in records back to 2007.

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