Markit Services PMI: "New business growth weakest since October 2017"

The December US Services Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 54.4 percent, down 0.3 from the final November estimate of 54.7. The consensus was for 54.7 percent. The consensus was for 54.7 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:

Commenting on the PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said:

“Service sector business activity grew at a reassuringly solid rate in December, though like the manufacturing economy has seen the pace of expansion moderate somewhat since the strong rates enjoyed earlier in the year. Despite the slowing, the December surveys remain consistent with GDP growing at a healthy annualised rate of about 2.5% in the fourth quarter, with momentum easing only very slightly as the quarter proceeded. [Press Release]

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