The Czech Republic’s manufacturing sector contracted at the fastest pace since 2009, amid coronavirus outbreak and resulting emergency measures, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The headline manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, fell to 35.1 in April from 41.3 in March. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. The latest score was the lowest since March 2009.

Suppliers’ delivery time lengthened in April and the contraction in production was the quickest since the survey began almost nineteen years ago. New orders dropped at a record pace and new export orders fell sharply due to COVID-19 outbreak.

The number of workforce was reduced at the fastest pace since the financial crisis in 2009 and backlogs of work fell at the quickest rate since the survey began in January 2003.

Business expectation fell to a new series low in April. As firms endeavored to remain competitive, output charges were reduced despite a sharper rise in input costs.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency public health measures took hold across the Czech manufacturing sector in April,” Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, said.

“Although restriction across the Czech Republic have been slowly easing, companies expect output to fall over the coming year as worries surrounding the longevity of lockdowns, the timespan of any recovery and fears of a potential drop in investment drag confidence down,” Jones added.


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