The U.S. economy sped up in January and got off to a good start in 2021, a new survey showed, even as the coronavirus spread faster than ever.
The IHS Markit PMI indexes for the service and manufacturing sides of the economy both improved this month, suggesting that businesses are looking ahead to better times in the near future.
The index for services such as banks, hospitals and retailers, by far the largest sector of the economy, rose to a two-month high of 57.5 in January from 54.8 in the prior month.
The index for the smaller but still sizable U.S. manufacturing sector, meanwhile, climbed to a record 59.1 from 57.1.
The indexes are compiled from surveys of senior business executives. The latest IHS readings suggest the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the prospect of more federal aid for the economy from the Biden administration are giving businesses more confidence.