Service sector activity picked up some in January, according to Markit Economics.
A report on non-manufacturing activity from ISM reinforced this finding.
Markit’s services PMI came in at 54.2 up from the prior month and slightly better than expected.
Markit’s January read was a rebound from December’s 10-month low but showed that new business levels increased at a weaker pace.
ISM’s non-manufacturing report on business reading rose to 56.7 in January, up from 56.5 in December and beating expectations for a 56.4.
Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while readings below 50 indicate contraction.
Markit’s report had a bit of a mixed read, saying that, “January data pointed to sustained growth of business activity across the U.S. service sector, but
the latest increase in incoming new work was the slowest since the survey began in October 2009. Service providers nonetheless remain upbeat about
their prospects for growth over the year ahead, and the latest survey indicated a further solid rise in payroll numbers.”
ISM’s reading also had a bit of a mixed outlook, with an executive in the health care and social assistance sector saying that, “Business is turning up slightly,” with another respondent to the firm’s survey out of the mining sector said, “The fall of oil commodity pricing is putting a good deal of pressure on our customers (oil company) budgets for 2015.”