Record fall in UK manufacturing and services data

Flash estimates of the Composite Purchasing Managers` Index (PMI) released today, revealed the UK has experienced the fastest contraction in manufacturing and services data on record, as a result of the lockdown measures imposed in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. The composite index for the UK, which is an average of manufacturing and services activity, fell from 36 in March to 12.9 in April, highlighting how business activity has collapsed following business closures and social distancing measures. These flash estimates, released a week in advance of the final results, reinforce the expectation of a significant contraction in the UK economy, possibly in the region of 7% quarter-on-quarter or more.