Global economy plunges on virus impact

Empty streets and empty shops in cities around the world.

Now the impact on the global economy is starting to show, and it could hardly look worse.

Tuesday (March 24) saw closely watched flash Purchasing Managers' Indexes published.

From Australia to Europe, they posted record falls.

The composite index for the euro zone plunged to a record low 31.4 this month, from February's 51.6.

That's by far its biggest one-month drop since records began in 1998.

And way below the 50-point mark that signifies economic expansion.

German and French services among the sectors to see record contraction.

Index compiler IHS Markit says the figures point to a collapse in the region's GDP approaching double-digit percentages.

Another survey out Tuesday showed Britain's economy shrinking at a record pace.

Faster even than during the 2008 global financial crisis.

It was a similar story in the U.S., where the composite index hit a record low just above 40.

Later in the week attention will turn to U.S. jobless claims numbers.

Analysts forecast they could jump by as much as four million.

Central banks around the world have already responded with massive monetary stimulus.

But many economists say governments will need to be equally bold.

Right now though a U.S. stimulus plan remains stalled in the Senate.