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April 3, 2020, 4:07 a.m. EDT

Eurozone services PMI skids to worst-ever 26.4 in March

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By Steve Goldstein

The IHS Markit eurozone services purchasing managers index in March slumped to a reading of 26.4 from 52.6 in February, the worst-ever reading in the history of the series. Any level below 50 indicates contracting conditions, and the final reading was worse than the flash reading of 28.4. In Italy, the services PMI fell to 17.4 in March, plunging from 52.1 in February. "The data indicate that the eurozone economy is already contracting at an annualised rate approaching 10%, with worse inevitably to come in the near future," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

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