US business activity eases again in September
US business activity shrank again in September, albeit at a slower pace, according to a survey released on Friday.
The S&P Global headline flash purchasing composite output index - which measures activity in the services and manufacturing sectors - rose to 49.3 from 44.6 in August. A reading above 50 indicates expansion while a reading below signals contraction.
The flash PMI for the manufacturing sector ticked up to 51.8 in September from 51.5 a month earlier, while the services business activity index came in at 49.2, versus 43.7 in August.
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: "US businesses are reporting a third consecutive monthly fall in output during September, rounding off the weakest quarter for the economy since the global financial crisis if the pandemic lockdowns of early-2020 are excluded.
"However, while output declined in both manufacturing and services during September, in both cases the rate of contraction moderated compared to August, notably in services, with orders books returning to modest growth, allaying some concerns about the depth of the current downturn.
"There was also better news on inflation, with supplier shortages easing to the lowest since October 2020, helping take some of the pressure off raw material prices. These improved supply chains, accompanied by the marked softening of demand since earlier in the year, helped cool overall the rate of inflation of both firms’ costs and average selling prices for goods and services to the lowest since early-2021."