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Report: US services activity continues to increase in February

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Report:  US services activity continues to increase in February

New report indicates robust expansion; fastest expansion since October.

The Markit Flash U.S. Services PMI Business Activity Index increased to 57.0 in February, up from 54.2 in January. PMI readings above 50.0 signal an increase or improvement on the prior month, while readings below 50.0 indicate a decrease.

"Activity levels surged higher and inflows of new business boomed as a result."

February’s reading indicated a further robust expansion of service sector output at the start of 2015. The latest ‘flash’ PMI reading, which is based on approximately 85% of usual monthly replies, pointed to the steepest rate of service sector growth for four months.

Analysts had expected a slight decrease to the PMI to 54.0.

"While parts of the East Coast have struggled in the face of adverse weather, other regions basked in unusually warm temperatures, boosting business above seasonal norms," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit in a statement. "Activity levels surged higher and inflows of new business boomed as a result.

"Alongside the upturn signaled by the sister 'flash' manufacturing PMI survey, the improved performance of the service sector in February means the economy looks to be enjoying yet another spell of robust growth in the first quarter,"

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