The preliminary results of Markit’s monthly services-sector Purchasing Managers Index survey are out.
The report’s headline index advanced to 55.5 in March from February’s 53.3 reading (topping consensus estimates for a rise to 54.0) indicative of an acceleration in the pace of expansion in America’s services sector.
The employment sub-index was unchanged at 51.9. The services sector employs roughly 80% of the U.S. workforce, so this number is always watched closely. Table 1 shows a complete breakdown of the report’s sub-indices.
“Service sector activity rebounded in March after a weather-torn February, but the survey is clearly flashing some warning lights as to whether the economy has lost some underlying momentum and that growth could slow in the second quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, in the release.