Now that we have a chance to breathe, and look back over the last batch of PMI numbers for Europe, it becomes clear that April was just an extraordinarily bad month for economic activity.
Let’s go over some of the countries, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
In Italy, the PMI chart looks like this, which couldn’t be uglier.
Meanwhile, Italian job losses were the most severe in 27 months, and new orders fell at the worst pace in 3 years.
Or even take Germany, which is the strongest economy by far: Output saw its first drop since December, the headline number hit a 33-month low, and employment was down for the first time since March 2010.
Here’s the chart of the headline number for Germany…
Spanish PMI: Same story. The economy saw its fastest deceleration since the summer of 2009.
The bottom line is: We knew basically all of Europe was seeing recession like conditions. April was exceptionally poor.
Finally, let’s not forget France. The reduction in new orders for the month was the worst in 3 years, and the headline figure remains near a 33-month low.