United States: Composite PMI records worst reading since February in August
The S&P Global Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 50.4 in August, down from July’s 52.0. August’s result marked the worst reading since February. As a result, the index remained above the 50.0 no-change mark, pointing to a moderating improvement in private sector operating conditions from the previous month.
The divergence in fortunes between the manufacturing and service sectors continued: The Manufacturing PMI stood at 47.0 in August, down from July’s 49.0, while the services PMI activity index fell to 51.0 in August (July: 52.3). Across the private sector as a whole, new orders and export orders fell, input price inflation rose, and employment growth slowed. That said, firms grew more upbeat on the outlook thanks to expectations that interest rates would soon stabilize.
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:
“Companies report that demand is looking increasingly lethargic in the face of high prices and rising interest rates. A resultant fall in new orders received by firms in August could tip output into contraction in September as firms adjust operating capacity in line with the deteriorating demand environment. Hiring could likewise soon turn into job shedding in the coming months.”