Apr 26, 2021 - Economy

Business sentiment and prices keep rising

Data: IHS-Markit; Chart: Axios
Data: IHS-Markit; Chart: Axios

Both manufacturing and services businesses saw strong pickups in activity and owners' sentiment improved, according to the latest flash reading of the IHS-Markit composite purchasing managers index.

Why it matters: The index that combines the two readings touched a record high 62.2 in April.

What happened: Manufacturing outpaced expectations with a sharp rise in output and strong hiring.

  • The services index saw its fastest expansion on record, driven by stronger client demand and easing COVID-19 restrictions across the country

On the other side: Numerous respondents complained about extraordinarily high prices as input costs rose by the most on record for manufacturers, amid capacity issues at suppliers, difficulties sourcing raw materials and ongoing supplier delivery delays, which were the most extensive on record.

  • The survey’s record high jump in prices paid by manufacturers also was attributed to “marked rises in transportation fees.”
  • Service sector companies also reported higher inflation but slower than March's big jump.

One level deeper: April's flash report is the latest to report spiking and record-high prices, a consistent theme seen in private sector PMI and Fed manufacturing surveys all year.

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