Economic Activity Crashes Across Europe After Coronavirus Lockdowns

Service sector activity crashed across Europe in March as coronavirus lockdowns caused a series of widely watched business surveys to record their largest-ever monthly falls to levels that suggest a severe economic contraction is under way, the Financial Times reported. None of the leading European economies was immune to the economic pain. Italy’s purchasing managers’ index fell to levels far below the worst point in the financial crisis 11 years ago. Spain, France and Germany all recorded the lowest reading in their respective surveys since they started more than 20 years ago. For the eurozone as a whole, the composite PMI index of services and manufacturing, compiled by IHS Markit, dropped from a reading of 51.6 in February to only 29.7 in March, the lowest reading since the survey began 22 years ago. Any level below 50 indicates that a majority of companies said activity in their businesses had declined over the past month. Read more