U.S. IHS Markit Composite Weakens; Inflation at Survey Peak

(Bloomberg) -- The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit U.S. Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 53.4 in September -- a 17- month low.

Composite Breakdown:

Flash U.S. Services Business Activity Index at 52.9 (54.8 in August). 18-month low
Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI at 55.6 (54.7 in August). 4-month high

Average prices charged by private sector firms jumped at the fastest pace since the composite survey started almost nine- years ago. Service providers, in particular, raised prices this month citing “intense cost pressures” as the reason to pass through higher labor costs and increased prices for inputs sourced from abroad.

Future expectations in both the manufacturing and service sectors fell to the lowest level this year, and the second- lowest in over two years, as optimism deteriorated.

However, while the overall index suggests that the pace of economic growth slowed to its lowest point in almost one-and-a- half years, the report did show some positive signals. Hiring grew, “indicative of non-farm payroll growth topping 200,000 in September,” Chris Williamson, economist at IHS Markit said. Further, Williamson noted, “new orders growth accelerating and backlogs of work rising due to weather-related disruptions, the survey data suggest underlying demand remains robust and that there’s an accumulation of work that will roll over into stronger economic growth in coming months.”

The rise in employment, led by service providers, was the strongest since May 2015, according to the report.

Final September data will be published on Oct. 1 for manufacturing and Oct. 3 for services and composite indicators.

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