Markit Economics' U.S. manufacturing sample has reported a loss of momentum as is its U.S. service sample. The services PMI slowed to 52.8 in March, down 1 tenth from the mid-month flash and down a full point from February. This is the lowest rate of plus-50 growth in six months. New orders are at their slowest growth rate in a full year and service providers were keeping busy working down backlogs which are at a 9-month low. Employment growth is at a 5-month low. Despite the slowing in activity, wages and input costs are on the rise as are selling prices though only modestly.
This report points to a quarter-end fizzle for the bulk of the economy. Watch for ISM non-manufacturing later this morning at 10:00 a.m. ET, a report that, in sharp contrast to this report, has been running at a very solid clip.