Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Services sector maintains growth in US, contracts less in euro area

The economic reports on Tuesday were mostly positive.

In the US, the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index fell to 55.2 in January from a 10-month high of 55.7 in December but remained comfortably above the 50 mark that indicates expansion in the services sector.

In China, the HSBC services PMI jumped to 54.0 in January from 51.7 in December.

The UK's services sector joined the growth party in January after the Markit/CIPS services PMI rose to 51.5 from 48.9 in December.

The euro area was the laggard. The eurozone services sector continued to contract in January, although Markit's services index for the region did rise to 48.6 from 47.8 in December. The improvement helped push the composite index up to 48.6 in January from 47.2 in December.

In another sign that the eurozone economy remained weak, another report on Tuesday showed that retail sales in the region fell 0.8 percent in December.

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