May 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

Services sector prices jumped in April as non-manufacturing index crashed

Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. services businesses saw their steepest drop in activity in April since the Great Recession with the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index falling to 41.8, its lowest reading since March 2009.

Yes, but: The survey's prices paid index jumped to its highest since January and firms said they had seen the highest percentage of price increases since May 2018.

  • Why it matters: Despite the destruction in overall demand and waves of job losses, prices are not only holding firm — they are rising.

But, but, but: ISM's data shows price increases have been largely in the health care sector where the coronavirus pandemic has increased shipping costs as demand has skyrocketed and the number of flights, largely from China, carrying medical supplies has plunged.

  • The price increases also were noted in other areas, however, such as cleaning products, disinfectants and alcohol.

What's next: "When we come out of this lockdown, I don’t project or anticipate a V-type recovery, so I don’t know how prices will correlate to demand levels," Anthony Nieves, chair for ISM's non-manufacturing business survey committee, said during a call with reporters.

Go deeper: The coronavirus pandemic is hitting Main Street

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

About 40.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, including 2.1 million more claims filed from last week.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, Americans are still seeking relief. Revised data out Thursday also showed U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimate of 4.8%.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 5,731,837 — Total deaths: 356,606 — Total recoveries — 2,376,542Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,703,989 — Total deaths: 100,651 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  4. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  5. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  6. ⚽️ Sports: English Premier League set to return June 17.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.