US business activity rises to 11-month high in April

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business activity accelerated to an 11-month high in April, according to a survey on Friday, which was at odds with growing signs that the economy was in danger of slipping into recession as higher interest rates cool demand.

S&P Global said its flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, increased to 53.5 this month. That was the highest level since last May and followed a final reading of 52.3 in March.

It was the third straight month that the PMI remained above 50, indicating growth in the private sector. The survey data was collected April 12-20.

But the so-called hard data are increasingly painting a darker picture. The labor market is cooling, retail sales are declining and manufacturing output is slumping, leading most economists to forecast a recession as early as the second half of the year.

Banks have tightened lending,…

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