U.S. Business Activity Gauge Cools in December, IHS Markit Says
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. business activity grew at a slower pace in December as renewed closures to contain the pandemic sapped some momentum from service providers and manufacturers alike.
The IHS Markit flash composite index of purchasing managers at private-sector businesses slipped to 55.7 from November’s five-year high of 58.6, the data provider said Wednesday, mainly reflecting a cooling in services. The measure has held above 50, the line between expansion and contraction, for six months.
The moderation after recent strength follows record virus cases and deaths across the world’s largest economy that are spurring fresh restrictions just as new vaccines arrive to help curb infections. The decline in the U.S. contrasts with a better-than-expected pickup in IHS Markit’s index for the euro area.
In the U.S., new orders slowed, though still poured in at one of the best rates in two years. The measure of input costs rose to a record in data since 2009.
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