U.S. sectors see slower rates of fall in May
Most of the U.S. sectors saw slower rates of fall in May. The latest survey data indicated towards a steep downturn throughout all areas of the U.S. private sector economy with exception of healthcare. May data hinted that healthcare activity dropped a bit, after posting a survey-record growth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in April.
A gradual easing of social distancing and stay-at home measures aided in easing the paces of contraction seen throughout the consumer segments in May, said IHS Markit in a research report. The consumer services and consumer goods sectors saw much weaker falls in business activity than in the previous month. Similar patterns signalled in financials and industrials, with the downturns in business activity throughout both categories easing from April’s survey records.
Technology was at the bottom of the table for business activity momentum with the pace of fall little-changed from April. Survey respondents implied that deep cuts to corporate spending had contributed to a sharp decline in demand in May.
The basic materials category was an outlier in May, with the fall in output accelerating to its most rapid since the series started in October 2009. This was attributed to reduced production requirements throughout the global manufacturing sector and lower energy sector investment spending.