- US Markit Manufacturing PMI in March drops to 49.2.
- Coronavirus outbreak seems to weigh heavily on the US service sector.
The activity in the US manufacturing sector is expected to contract at a soft pace in March with the IHS Markit’s preliminary Manufacturing PMI dropping to 49.2 from 50.7 in February. This reading came in much better than the market expectation of 42.8.
On the other hand, the Services PMI slumped to 39.1 from 49.4 and missed analysts’ estimate of 42. Finally, the Composite PMI dropped to its lowest reading in 11 years at 40.5 from 49.6 in February.
Commenting on the data, “US companies reported the steepest downturn since 2009 in March as measures to limit the COVID-19 outbreak hit businesses across the country,” said Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit. “The service sector has been especially badly affected, with consumer-facing industries such as restaurants, bars and hotels bearing the brunt of the social distancing measures, while travel and tourism has been decimated.”
The US Dollar Index showed a mixed reaction to these reading and was last seen at 101.65, erasing 0.8% on the day.