Activity in Italian industry shrank sharply in March due to the outbreak of the country’s corona virus and government quarantine measures to contain the disease. British market researcher Markit announced this based on his purchasing managers index.
That index for the Italian industry plummeted last month to a 40.3 level from 48.7 in February. A level of 50 or more indicates growth, below that shrinkage. Due to the corona crisis, public life in Italy has come to a complete standstill and many companies have come to a standstill. Italy now has the most deaths from the virus worldwide. The northern Lombardy region has been particularly hard hit. There is also a lot of industry there.
The virus is also hitting industry hard in Spain. That index drops to 45.7 from 50.4 in February. This also applies to Greece. There, the indicator plummeted to 42.5 from 56.2 in the previous month.
According to Markit, the purchasing managers index for industry across the eurozone reached a final level of 44.5, which is slightly weaker than in an earlier estimate. Significant contraction was seen in the sizeable German industry, as in France.