US factory and services activity finishes Q3 on strong note, IHS Markit says

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Wednesday 23 Sep 2020

US factory and services activity finishes Q3 on strong note, IHS Markit says

(Sharecast News) - US economic output put paid to the third quarter with a solid pace of expansion in September, the results of a closely-watched survey revealed.

But the balance of risks for the economy were tilted to the downside going forwards , the survey compiler said.

IHS Markit's so-called composite Purchasing Managers' Index for output in both US manufacturing and services combined dipped from a reading of 54.6 for August to 54.4 in September.

A separate PMI for services printed at 54.6, down from 55.0 but marginally ahead of the 54.5 forecast by economists, while that for manufacturing beat expectations, rising from 53.1 to 53.5 (consensus: 52.5).

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said: "Covid-19 infection rates remain a major concern and social distancing measures continue to act as a dampener on the overall pace of expansion, notably in consumer-facing services. Uncertainty regarding the presidential election has also intensified, cooling business optimism about the year ahead.

"Risks therefore seem tilted to the downside for the coming months, as businesses await clarity with respect to both the path of the pandemic and the election."

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