United States services growth remains robust, though future expectations ease

05 October, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Housebuilding is the only part of the construction sector which is currently growing
Credit
NEIL HALL  Reuters

Sterling rose after the services PMI report, gaining about 0.4 percent. "Average prices charged for goods and services rose at the fastest rate for three years in September, though it's not yet clear how much of the rise reflected short-term hurricane effects".

The PMI picked up to 53.6 in September, slightly better than expectations in a Reuters poll of economists for it to hold at August's level of 53.2. The index has averaged 53.5 in the past three months compared to 54.3 in the second quarter, suggesting growth failed to pick up in the third quarter.

IHS Markit said rising costs meant average prices in the United Kingdom were at their highest since April.

"Surging order book growth has encouraged manufacturers to take on extra staff at a rate never seen in the 20-year history of the PMI survey".

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Cost inflation reached a seven-month high and was among the strongest since early-2011, with higher expenses linked to rising food, energy and fuel bills, alongside increased prices for imported items and higher salaries.

Business across the euro zone grew rapidly in September as firms struggled to keep up with demand, with October looking likely to be lively as well.

"September saw a sustained expansion in the Indian manufacturing sector, supported by increases in both output and new orders", IHS Markit said in the survey release.

The economy has gained traction since the end of past year, posting growth of 0.5 percent in the last three quarters, buoyed by rock-bottom interest rates, tax cuts for companies and a pick-up among France's euro zone trading partners.

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A Reuters poll of economists in September suggested the European Central Bank will announce on October 26 a six-month extension to its asset purchase programme but will cut how much it buys each month to €40 billion from January.

Manufacturing and services PMI released in the United Kingdom this week indicate the British economy continues to expand at a moderate pace, easing concerns of a sharper slowdown or a recession as the Brexit uncertainty bites on growth.

Brock says: Where consumers recovered a little from their spending hesitation last month, it was the turn of businesses to be spooked into inactivity, exerting greater scrutiny over new projects and long-term spending plans.

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