US business levels fall sharply amid coronavirus –

Business activity in the US service sector fell last month for the first time since 2013, hurt by the coronavirus, according to a survey.

The drop came amid a “notable worsening” in the services sector, which includes finance and retail, the IHS Markit research firm reported .

New orders received by private sector firms also declined for the first time since 2009, it said.

US financial markets fell sharply following the report.

The latest IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index data found that services business activity fell to 49.4, from 53.4 in January, while manufacturing output slowed to 50.8, compared to 51.9 in January, a six-month low.

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