Brussels (AFP) – The eurozone economy is suffering an “unprecedented” collapse according to a PMI index released Thursday by analysis firm IHS Markit.
“The eurozone economy suffered the steepest falls in business activity and employment ever recorded during April as a result of measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak,” it said.
The company’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) dived to a record low of 13.5 in April, from the previous all-time low of 29.7 in March, confirming private sector gloom that is savaging the 19-nation eurozone.
A reading below 50 signals a contraction.
BERLIN, April 22 (Reuters) – German consumers are counting their pennies rather than returning to shop in large numbers as stores gradually reopen after being locked down during the coronavirus crisis, the national retailers association said on Wednesday.
Stores of up to 800 square metres (8,600 square feet) were allowed to open again from Monday, along with car and bicycle dealers and bookstores, provided they adhere to strict social distancing and hygiene rules.
But the HDE association said the mood among shoppers remained very subdued due to concerns about jobs and finances. “Consumers are in a crisis mode, consumer sentiment is in the doldrums,” a spokesman said.
In some parts of Europe’s biggest economy, larger stores have also been allowed to open, such as furniture and homeware chain Ikea in the western state of North Rhine Westphalia.