The Wall Street Journal – August 24, 2021

U.S. factories and service providers reported sharply slower growth in August, the forecasting firm IHS Markit said Monday in its surveys of purchasing managers.

Its index of service-sector activity, the broadest segment of the economy, fell to 55.2 in August from 59.9 in July, hitting an eight-month low. An index of factory activity dropped to 61.2, a four-month low, from 63.4 in July. A reading above 50 suggests activity—as measured by sales, output, prices and other factors—is growing.

But the surveys show that the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus, which has led to a new wave of infections and hospitalizations and has spooked consumers, is harming the economy

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