Eurozone economic output is slumping this month, at a rate that far exceeds the worst moments of the financial crisis or the euro debt crisis.
Data firm Markit’s monthly survey of purchasing managers, just released, has crashed to its lowest level since it was created in 1998 — at just 31.4.
That’s a dramatic slump from February’s 51.6 — showing “an unprecedented collapse in business activity” (echoing what we’ve already heard from France and Germany) [reminder: anything below 50 = contraction].
Europe’s services sector was especially hard hit, especially consumer-facing industries such as travel, tourism and restaurants. But factories are also shrinking sharply, due to weak demand and restrictions on workers’ travel.
- Flash Eurozone Services PMI Activity Index(2) at 28.4 (52.6 in February). Record low (since July 1998).
- Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI Output Index(4) at 39.5 (48.7 in February). 131-month low.
- Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (3) at 44.8 (49.2 in February). 92-month low