Over the last hour or so, Eurozone countries reported their PMI readings for March.
A PMI reading is a gauge of a country's manufacturing sector. Anything above 50 indicates expansion from the month before. Anything below 50 indicates contraction.
Every single reading was below 50 this month. The numbers were completely disastrous.
Via Markit, here's a breakdown of some of what we just saw.
First, the general Eurozone chart. You can see it deteriorated, and is well below 50, indicating deep contraction. And here's a summary of some themes we saw across countries. There was really terrible news on the output, new orders, and employment front. Now here's the really ugly chart, showing each country's trajectory.
March was a truly horrible month for Europe. This is of course, in addition to the crisis in Cyprus and the political turmoil in Italy, which still doesn't have a government.
But really this is the biggest one. Europe is seeing non-stop economic decline, which is a state of affairs that's terrible for banks. Terrible for national finances. And it's terrible for politics.
If growth heals all, then recessions exacerbates all.
Unfortunately, nobody has any clear idea how to address the situation. The ECB hasn't been doing much. And mostly the demands of the elites regard austerity.
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