US service sector activity slowed in November.
Markit’s flash US service sector PMI came in at 56.3, missing expectations.
Expectations were for Markit’s flash reading to come in at 57.3, up slightly from last month’s 57.1.
This is the lowest reading for the index since April.
Commenting on the report, Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said, “A fifth-consecutive monthly slowing in growth in the service sector adds to signs that the economic upturn has lost considerable momentum.”
Williamson added that, “it’s important to note that the pace of expansion remains robust by historical standards.”
In its release, Markit said, “Weaker service sector output growth largely reflected a moderation in new business gains during November. The latest rise in incoming new work was the slowest for seven months and slightly less marked than the average seen since the survey began in October 2009.”
Markit added that, “Some survey respondents commented on weaker client confidence and associated delays to the launch of new projects.”
Williamson also added that firms took on staff at a pace consistent with payroll increases of roughly 200,000 in November.
“The worry is that any hiring intentions could rapidly deteriorate if firms’ order book inflows fail to pick up again soon,” Williamson said.
Here’s the chart from Markit showing services sector activity.