Downturn in Europe softer than 2020 crash

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Brussels

The eurozone economy is being hit hard by a new wave of virus lockdowns but the damage will be less severe than the crash scene last year, a key survey showed Friday.

The closely watched PMI index compiled by IHS Markit is considered the earliest indicator of the state of the economy and the latest reading confirmed fears that Europe was in recession.

“Ongoing Covid-19 lockdown measures dealt a further blow to the eurozone’s service sector in February, adding to the likelihood of GDP falling again in the first quarter,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.

“However, the impact was alleviated by a strengthening upturn in manufacturing, hinting at a far milder economic downturn than suffered in the first half of last year,” he added.—AFP

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