Flash European PMI statistics are…well, there is no word for that!
Summary: Speechless. March statistics are very ugly everywhere in Europe. German Flash manufacturing PMI is out at 45.7 and services PMI is falling at 34.5 (yes, 34.5!!!).
The below chart is the first of many others that will look like this all around the world. There is no doubt that Germany and the eurozone are already in recession. In many European countries, the manufacturing sector declined further, but the services sector saw the sharpest slowdown, even more than anticipated (28.4 for the eurozone, 29.0 for France and 35.7 for the UK). It is a very worrying sign for countries, such as France or the United Kingdom, that have a strong reliance on services. In terms of policy, this is pretty clear what kind of business is most in need of immediate support here. European countries will need to do much more to address the current situation and implement demand-oriented measures to support the economy. Amongst the potential measures, we favor a decrease in VAT (as there is zero chance that helicopter money will be considered) which would create a positive shock on consumer confidence and thus have an immediate impact on economic activity.