Apr 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

Coronavirus may push the U.K. into worst economic downturn in centuries

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Data: Investing.com; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

After seeing IHS Markit's readings on the depths of the decline in Britain's manufacturing and services sectors, Bank of England governor Gertjan Vlieghe warned that the U.K. may be in the grips of an economic contraction for the ages.

What they're saying: “Based on the early indicators, and based on the experience in other countries that were hit somewhat earlier than the U.K., it seems that we are experiencing an economic contraction that is faster and deeper than anything we have seen in the past century, or possibly several centuries,” Vlieghe said in a speech.

Driving the news: IHS Markit said Thursday that its U.K. composite purchasing managers index (PMI), which tracks both services and manufacturing, fell to 12.9 in April, down from 36 in March, which was the previous record low since the survey began in the 1990s.

  • The eurozone faced a similar reading, falling to 13.5 for the month. Neither the U.K. nor eurozone had ever seen a reading below 35 before.

Go deeper: Europe inches its way out of lockdown

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