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Global Economy Hit by Record Collapse of Business Activity

Business activity in the U.S., Europe and Japan collapsed in April as governments tightened restrictions on movement and social interaction aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus, according to surveys of purchasing managers.

The surveys, out Thursday, suggest governments have effectively closed parts of the economy where face-to-face interaction is unavoidable—such as restaurants and barbers—and activity has tumbled in parts of the economy less directly affected.

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