Confidence among U.S. businesses is steadily improving. U.S. business activity increased to a 20-month high in October, but, amid the lingering COVID-19 shutdown restrictions, the pace of new business growth and new orders eased slightly alongside caution ahead of U.S. Election Day on November 3rd.
Data firm IHS Markit said on Friday its flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to a reading of 55.5 this month. That was the highest since February 2019 and was up from 54.3 in September. A reading above 50 indicates growth in private sector output.
It said some manufacturers and service industry companies noted the coronavirus crisis had weighed on demand. The survey found other companies said a number of clients were holding back on placing orders until after the fiercely contested race to the White House… The survey’s flash composite new orders index dipped to 54.3 this month from a reading of 54.8 in September.
Still, confidence among businesses is steadily improving. The survey’s flash services sector PMI rose to 56 this month, a 20-month high, from a reading of 54.6 in September… The survey’s flash manufacturing PMI inched up to a reading of 53.3 from 53.2 in September… A measure of new orders received by factories increased to a reading of 54.2 from 53.6 in September.
MacDailyNews Take: Confidence breeds confidence.