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UK and eurozone suffer record slumps amid Covid-19 lockdowns – business live


Coronavirus hit Britain’s economy in April with more force than even the most pessimistic forecasters had feared as businesses reported an historic collapse in demand during a nationwide lockdown, a survey showed on Thursday.

The IHS Markit/CIPS Flash UK Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a new record low of 12.9 from 36.0 in March – not even close to the weakest forecast in a Reuters poll of economists that had pointed to a reading of 31.4.

The scale of the collapse all but guarantees a huge contraction in the world’s fifth-largest economy and will add to doubts about whether financial help from the government has reached businesses quickly enough.

“The dire survey readings will inevitably raise questions about the cost of the lockdown, and how long current containment measures will last,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.



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