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Sweden Manufacturing Contracts Most In Over 25 Years On Covid-19 Impact

Sweden's manufacturing sector deterioration was the largest in more than twenty-five years in March as the coronavirus outbreak had a severe impact on industry, survey data from Swedbank and the logistics association SILF showed on Wednesday.

The manufacturing purchasing managers' index, or PMI, decreased to 43.2 in March from 52.7 in February. Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector.

The latest decline was the largest monthly slump in more than 25-year history and was driven by the coronavirus's effects on the Swedish manufacturing industry, Swedbank analyst Jorgen Kennemar said.

Among the five sub-indices, order intake declined the most in March, followed by production. The employment index decreased, while the delivery times for the suppliers rose to the highest level since 2018 and contributed positively.

"The manufacturing industry's production plans have in a short time been disturbed by the corona crisis," Kennemar said.

The index for production plans fell to 33.8 from 60.1 in February, which was the lowest reading since the turn of the year 2008/2009.

The price pressure from the producer remained subdued in March and the index for suppliers' raw and input commodity declined for the seventh consecutive month.

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