US services sector posts biggest contraction since 2009 as coronavirus halts economic activity

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A shopper wears a protective mask while browsing through the Island Cotton Company store as the state of Florida enters phase one of the plan to reopen the state on May 4, 2020 in Stuart, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

The U.S. services sector contracted for the first time in about a decade last month as the coronavirus pandemic brought economic activity in the country to a near-screeching halt, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

The ISM nonmanufacturing index dropped to 41.8 in April from 52.5 in March, showing the first contraction in services since December 2009. It

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Pandemic slams global factories, activity sinks to new lows

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LONDON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Factory activity was ravaged across the world in April, business surveys showed, and the outlook looked bleak as government lockdowns to contain the new coronavirus pandemic froze global production and slashed demand.

FILE PHOTO: Employees work on a production line manufacturing metal parts for furniture at a factory in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China April 30, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

The coronavirus has infected more than 3.5 million people globally and killed around 247,000. With the public told to stay home in numerous countries, the global economy is expected to suffer its steepest contraction on record this

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Pandemic slams Asia’s factories, activity hits financial-crisis lows

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asia’s factory activity was ravaged in April, business surveys showed on Monday, and the outlook dimmed further as government restrictions on movement to contain the coronavirus outbreak froze global production and slashed demand.

FILE PHOTO: Employees work on a production line manufacturing metal parts for furniture at a factory in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China April 30, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

A series of Purchasing Managers’ Indexes (PMIs) from IHS Markit fell deeper into contraction from March, with some diving to all-time lows and others hitting levels last seen during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

Similar gauges

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U.S. business activity hits fresh record lows amid coronavirus lockdowns

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business activity plumbed new record lows in April as the novel coronavirus severely disrupted manufacturing and services industry production, pushing the economy into uncharted waters.

FILE PHOTO: A worker sews swimwear fabric to be used by swimwear company Helen Jon, which converted its manufacturing facilities to make non-medical grade face masks, during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Alhambra, California, U.S., April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Data firm IHS Markit said on Thursday its flash U.S. Composite Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, plunged to a reading of 27.4 this

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