An outbreak of coronavirus caused a record decline in business activity in the Eurozone

the Euro zone Economy in March, has experienced a significant downturn since the spread of the coronavirus has accelerated, according to research company IHS Markit.

the composite index of business activity (Purchasing Managers Index, PMI) of the Eurozone fell from 51.6 in February to 31.4 points, according to preliminary data.

a reading below 50 points reflect reducing activity, a higher activity.

the March index was the highest since the first collection of comparable data in July 1998. As a result, the indicator reached a record low. The previous low was recorded in February 2009 when the index fell to 36.2 points.

the Result was significantly worse than expected. Analysts polled by Reuters predicted the index falling to 38.8 points.

“the Fall in business activity in the Eurozone has far exceeded what was observed, even in the midst of the global financial crisis, said IHS chief economist at Markit Chris Williamson. — A sharp decline was observed in France, Germany and throughout the rest of the Eurozone, as governments adopted increasingly strict measures to curb the spread of coronavirus”.

“Particularly affected the services sector, especially in consumer-oriented industries like travel, tourism & restaurants”, the message reads IHS Markit.

PMI of the services sector in the Eurozone fell from 52.6% to 28.4 points, reaching its lowest level during the whole period of observations (July 1998).

the Outbreak of coronavirus, which developed into a pandemic that struck the demand for goods and services. The inflow of new orders fell at a record pace, partly due to a record fall in new export orders. A record decline in the demand for services was accompanied by the sharp drop in goods orders since April 2009.

“Employment is already falling a pace not seen since July 2009, ashope about the prospects for expanding — said Williamson. — Business sentiment for the year ahead became the darkest in the entire history of observations.”

“the March PMI points to a quarterly drop of GDP by about 2%, and it is obvious that there is a possibility of further strengthening of the recession, because the next few months can be implemented even more draconian measures against the virus,” added the economist.

Vice-President of the European Central Bank’s Luis de Guindos said earlier that the consequences of the coronavirus will trigger a recession in Europe, but in the second half of the region’s economy should return to growth.