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Global economy suffers unprecedented collapse amid COVID-19 pandemic

13 May 2020 Chris Williamson

The following is an extract from IHS Markit's monthly PMI overview presentation. For the full report please click on the link at the bottom of the article.

Global business activity contracted at an unprecedented rate in April as measures to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic took an increasing toll on economies around the world. The JPMorgan Global PMI™ (compiled by IHS Markit) fell to 26.5 from 39.2 in March, slumping well below the prior survey low of 36.8 recorded at the height of the global financial crisis in November 2008. The latest reading indicates a third successive month of declining business activity, with the rate of contraction accelerating sharply as increasing number of countries locked their economies down in response to the pandemic. The April reading was broadly comparable with global GDP falling at an annual rate of over 6.0% (at market prices).

The decline in global services activity was by far the steepest ever recorded in the survey's 22-year history, while manufacturing output fell to the greatest extent since 2009.

Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist, IHS Markit
Tel: +44 207 260 2329

© 2020, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI™) data are compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide. The monthly data are derived from surveys of senior executives at private sector companies, and are available only via subscription. The PMI dataset features a headline number, which indicates the overall health of an economy, and sub-indices, which provide insights into other key economic drivers such as GDP, inflation, exports, capacity utilization, employment and inventories. The PMI data are used by financial and corporate professionals to better understand where economies and markets are headed, and to uncover opportunities.

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