Services Companies Rebound in the U.S. but Slump in Other Nations

February 22, 2021

Service companies in the U.S. saw a strong increase in activity in February, while their European and Japanese counterparts saw growing declines. The purchasing managers index (PMI) for the U.S. service sector posted its biggest increase in nearly six years, jumping to 58.9 in February from January’s 58.3. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in activity, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Conversely, the PMI for Germany fell to 45.9 from 46.7 in February, the lowest reading in nine months. Surveys also indicate that the services sector contracted more sharply in Japan than in the previous month.

The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of the split notes that countries that rely on manufacturing have seen a large slump in their services sector. Both Japan and Germany have seen strong manufacturing growth, even as the services sector continues to contract.

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