Delta deals bigger blow to U.S. economy in August, but most businesses still upbeat
The numbers: U.S. businesses suffered some erosion in growth in August for the third month in a row owing to the rise of the delta variant and ongoing shortages of labor and materials, a pair of new surveys show.
A survey of service-oriented companies that deal with customers face to face — think restaurants, hotels and theaters — fell to an eight-month low. The index dropped to 55.2 in August from 59.9 in prior month, IHS Markit said Monday.
Another measure of American manufacturers dipped to a four-month low of 61.2 from 63.4, though it was still historically high. Manufacturers are better able to control their work environments and face few government restrictions.
Any number above 50 signals growth, and figures above 60 are viewed as exceptional.
Big picture: Companies are still expanding at a rapid clip, they just aren’t growing as…