Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Free Webinar - Master Indicators: Maximized Trading Potential! | Thursday, June 8 | 12:30PM EDT Enroll Now

US business activity rises to 13-month high in May, S&P Global survey shows

Published May 23, 2023 09:53AM ET Updated May 23, 2023 10:42AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A "Now hiring" sign is displayed on the window of an IN-N-OUT fast food restaurant in Encinitas, California, U.S., May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. business activity increased to a 13-month high in May, lifted by strong growth in the services sector, the latest indication that the economy regained momentum early in the second quarter despite rising risks of a recession.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) said on Tuesday its flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to a reading of 54.5 this month. That was the highest level since April 2022 and followed a final reading of 53.4 in April. It was the fourth straight month that the PMI remained above 50, indicating growth in the private sector.

The survey data, which was collected between May 12-22, added to data this month that showed labor market resilience, with job growth accelerating in April and the unemployment rate falling back to a 53-year low of 3.4%. Retail sales excluding motor vehicles, gasoline, building materials and food services rebounded strongly, while production at factories and homebuilding picked up.

The upbeat reports prompted the Atlanta Federal Reserve to raise its second-quarter gross domestic product estimate to a 2.9% annualized rate from a 2.6% pace. The economy grew at a 1.1% rate in the first quarter.

Most economists expect a recession in the second half of this year, citing the 500 basis points worth of interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve since March 2022, when the U.S. central bank embarked on its fastest monetary policy tightening campaign since the 1980s to quell inflation.

Tightening credit conditions and a stand-off over raising the federal government's borrowing cap have also raised the risks of a downturn.

The survey's measure of new orders received by private businesses jumped to 54.3 this month, the highest reading since last May, from 51.9 in April. The services sector drove the increase, keeping services inflation elevated. Price pressures at factories eased. The survey's measure of prices paid by businesses for inputs slipped to 58.5 from 61.2 in April.

"Whereas manufacturing prices spiked higher during the pandemic due to strong demand and deteriorating supply, it is now the service sector's turn to be hiking prices amid resurgent demand and an inability to cope with order inflows due to a lack of capacity," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Businesses also increased headcount, with companies reporting that vacancies were being more easily filled.

The survey's flash services sector PMI rose to 55.1, also a 13-month high, from 53.6 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the services PMI would fall to 52.6. Its flash manufacturing PMI dropped to 48.5 from 50.2 in April.

Economists had forecast that index would be at 50. New orders fell after expanding in April for the first time in six months, with manufacturers reporting that customers were focused on working through current inventory. Manufacturers were, however, upbeat about business conditions over the next year.

A measure of prices paid by factories for inputs fell below 50 for the first time in three years.

US business activity rises to 13-month high in May, S&P Global survey shows

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email