U.S., Euro Area and British Service-Sector Purchasing Managers Survey Results

March 5, 2013

The U.S.-minus-Ezone service-sector PMI differential widened 1.5 points to a 3-month high of 8.1 points in February.  The U.S. index climbed 0.8 points to a 12-month high of 56.0, whereas Euroland’s PMI fell 0.7 points to a 2-month low of 47.9.  The latter has been below the 50 expansion-or-contraction line of demarcation for thirteen straight months.  The U.S. index, in contrast, has been at or above 50.0 since the beginning of 2010.

February’s improved service-sector climate in the United States mostly reflected a 3.8-point advance in new business.   The report also highlighted an intensification of price pressure.

Euroland’s deterioration was broadly spread across the group’s members.  The French, Italian and Spanish readings were each below 45.0.  Ireland’s 53.6 was its lowest reading since August, and Germany’s 54.7 was a full point smaller than its January score. 

Britain, which does not use the euro, had a greater-than-assumed service-sector PMI reading of 51.8, up from 51.5 in January.  If the U.K. is to avoid another quarter of negative economic growth in 1Q, it will need service-sector thrust to offset drags from industrial production and construction.  Britain’s manufacturing and construction purchasing manager indices in February were 47.9 and 46.8.

The sum of the U.S.-Ezone service PMI and manufacturing PMI spreads, shown in the rightmost column below, was 14.4 in February, 2.6 points wider than in January and the greatest total since October.

PMIs U.S. Ezone   U.S. Ezone   Sum of
  Services Services Spread Mf’g Mf’g Spread Spreads
Jan 2012 56.8 50.4 +6.4 54.1 48.8 +5.3 +10.9
Feb 56.1 48.8 +7.3 51.9 49.0 +2.9 +10.2
March 55.0 49.2 +5.8 53.3 47.7 +5.6 +11.4
April 53.7 46.9 +6.8 54.1 45.9 +8.2 +15.0
May 54.1 46.7 +7.4 52.5 45.1 +7.4 +14.8
June 52.7 47.1 +5.6 50.2 45.1 +5.1 +10.7
July 52.9 47.9 +5.0 50.5 44.0 +6.5 +11.5
August 54.3 47.2 +7.1 50.7 45.1 +5.6 +12.7
Sept 55.2 46.1 +9.1 51.6 46.1 +5.5 +14.6
October 54.8 46.0 +8.8 51.7 45.4 +6.3 +15.1
November 54.8 46.7 +8.1 49.9 46.2 +3.7 +11.8
December 55.7 47.8 +7.9 50.2 46.1 +4.1 +12.0
January 55.2 48.6 +6.6 53.1 47.9 +5.2 +11.8
February 56.0 47.9 +8.1 54.2 47.9 +6.3 +14.4

Copyright 2013, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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