imageEconomic Indicators14 hours ago (Mar 24, 2020 05:43AM ET)

(C) Reuters. Euro-Zone Economy Crashes on Coronavirus Business Shutdowns

(Bloomberg) —

The euro zone is sinking into the biggest economic crisis in its history as measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic bring much of the business world to a standstill.

IHS Markit’s measure of private-sector activity plunged to the lowest since the index was started — and the currency bloc was formed — more than two decades ago.

The meltdown was across the region, according to the report published Tuesday. Services fared worse than manufacturing, particularly consumer-facing industries such as travel, tourism and restaurants. The composite reading fell to 31.4 in March from 51.6.

“Business activity across the euro zone collapsed in March to an extent far exceeding that seen even at the height of the global financial crisis,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit. “Business sentiment about the year ahead has plunged to the gloomiest on record, suggesting policy makers’ efforts to date have failed to brighten the darkening picture.”

The European Central Bank has scrambled to limit the damage with massive injections into the financial system, including a 750 billion-euro ($811 billion) emergency bond-buying program, and measures to direct liquidity toward struggling small and medium-sized enterprises.

Governments have started stepping up pledges of fiscal spending and loan guarantees in an attempt to shelter the economy until the worst of the pandemic has passed.

Bloomberg Economics estimates that the euro zone is on track for its biggest contraction in GDP since the currency union was founded.

(C)2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Euro-Zone Economy Crashes on Coronavirus Business Shutdowns

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.