The flash U.K. composite purchasing managers index fell in March to a survey low of 37.1 from 53 in February, according to the latest data from IHS Markit/CIPS.
Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions. The services index plunged to a record low 35.7 from 53.2. "Historical comparisons indicate that the March survey reading is consistent with GDP falling at a quarterly rate of 1.5-2.0%, a decline which is sufficiently large to push the economy into a contraction in the first quarter.
However, this decline will likely be the tip of the iceberg and dwarfed by what we will see in the second quarter as further virus containment measures take their toll and the downturn escalates," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
Source : Market Watch