The eurozone economy is severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak and government containment measures to curb the disease. In the service sector, for example, tourism, aviation, catering and retail, business is extremely difficult. However, the negative effects of the virus are also clearly noticeable in industry.
British market researcher Markit reported, on the basis of preliminary figures, that its purchasing managers index for the euro area services sector plummeted in March to a level of 28.4 from 52.6 in February. A score of 50 or more indicates growth, including activity contraction. The decline was much more pronounced than economists had expected, as they generally estimated at a level of 39.5.
The indicator for the industry in the euro countries fell to a score of 49.2 to 44.8. Here the consensus of experts was 39. Many industrial companies in Europe have closed their doors to counter the outbreak.
The composite index of services and industry recorded a preliminary level of 31.4 against 51.6 for March. Here, economists on average predicted 38.8.
Markit reported that Germany and France, the two largest eurozone economies, saw a significant decline in economic activity. Authorities in Europe are engaged in extensive support measures to stimulate the economy.