Markit Services PMI: Business Activity Remains Strong, but Softens in July

The July US Services Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 56.0 percent, down 0.5 from the final June estimate of 56.5. The consensus was for 56.2 percent. Markit's Services PMI is a diffusion index: A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector; below 50 indicates contraction.

Here is the opening from the latest press release:

July survey data signalled a further robust increase in business activity across the U.S. service sector. Although the latest upturn eased to a three-month low, it was sharp nonetheless and one of the fastest in the last three years. Similarly, the rate of new business growth softened to the weakest in six months, but remained steep overall. Backlogs contracted for the first time since April 2017, as strong employment growth reduced pressure on capacity. Meanwhile, output charge inflation accelerated on the back of strong demand and higher input costs. [Press Release]

Here is a snapshot of the series since mid-2012.