Markit Services PMI: "Slowest business activity growth since March 2017"

The April US Services Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 53.0 percent, down 2.3 from the final March estimate of 55.3. The consensus was for 52.8 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:

"The final PMI surveys for April indicate a marked slowing of the US economy at the start of the second quarter, suggesting the robust start to the year has lost some momentum. Businesses reported the weakest output and sales growth for two years, indicative of GDP growth slowing to 1.9% in April."

"While the first quarter saw factory weakness being offset by a robust service sector, both manufacturing and services have now shifted into a lower gear." [Press Release]

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