Czech Republic: Manufacturing PMI falls to near 11-year low as Covid-19 bites
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, declined from 46.5 in February to 41.3 in March, the lowest reading since May 2009. Thus, the index fell further below the critical 50-mark separating deterioration from improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector, where it has been for over a year.
March’s downturn was driven by steep declines in both production and new orders amid factory closures and a pullback in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak. Their falls were the sharpest since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009. Moreover, manufacturers shed jobs at the sharpest rate in over a decade as voluntary leavers were not replaced and factories shut down operations. On the price front, input cost inflation ticked up, while goods producers slashed selling prices again in efforts to attract customers. Lastly, business confidence plunged to its lowest level since the series began in April 2012, dampened by concerns over the duration of the impact of the virus, particularly in the key automotive segment.