14 May 2019, Saxony, Zwickau: Employees at the Volkswagen Sachsen plant in Zwickau assemble Golf model vehicles on a production line.
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Euro zone business activity hit another record low during April in another sign that the coronavirus pandemic is causing severe economic damage across the region.
The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures both the services industry and manufacturing, dropped to 13.5 in April, according to preliminary data. In March, the same index had already recorded its biggest ever single monthly drop to 29.7. A contraction in PMI figures — a figure below 50 — indicates a likely fall in economic growth overall.
Earlier in the session, Germany’s flash index came in at 17.1, a record low, versus a figure of 35.0 the month before. This was worse than analysts had been expecting with Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit, saying it “paints a shocking picture of the pandemic’s impact on businesses.”