Business activity in the United States dropped significantly in March, pulled down by the sharp fall in the services sector that was hardly hit by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Composite PMI, including both manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 40.5, a record low, from February’s 49.6.
The services measure sagged to 39.1 from 49.4 in February, while the factory gauge slipped to 49.2, compared to the expansion of 50.7 registered in February.
The sharp crash in economic activities is similar to the ones that occurred in other major economies’ such as the euro area, UK and Japan, as the world suffers to contain the damages of the respiratory illness.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the performance of six major currencies against the US dollar, dropped 0.18 percent at 103.32.
On Wall Street, equities
opened higher amid stimulus hopes, where the Dow Jones soared 6.4 percent,
S&P 500 edged up 5.5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite surged nearly 4.9