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US Private Sector Expansion Fell to 18-Month Low

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Growth across the US private sector has eased to its lowest level since July 2020, a signal that the Omicron variant has weakened America’s recovery.

Source: IHS Markit

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US output growth deteriorated to an 18-month low in January as the Omicron wave increased supply delays and labor shortages.

The flash US Composite Output Index has fallen to 50.8, a sharp plunge on December’s 57.0, close to the 50.0 point level that indicates stagnation.

The easing off in output growth was broad-based, with manufacturing and service sector companies posting that output nearly stalled over the month.

Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit, stated that increasing virus cases nearly brought the US economy to a standstill at the start of 2022, with businesses hampered by worsening supply chain delays and labor shortages.

Business confidence was hurt in January and dropped to a three-month low amid rising inflation concerns.

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