The eurozone has suffered its first drop in employment in seven years as its economy collapsed under the weight of the shock from the coronavirus lockdown.
The bloc's gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 3.8pc in the first quarter of this year - a record decline. It was dragged sharply lower by the likes of France, where a tough lockdown caused the region's second-largest economy to shrink 5.8pc in the first quarter of 2020 versus the final quarter of last year.
Germany's economy contracted by a relatively benign 2.2pc, according to data released this morning.
"As the lockdowns had a far larger impact in terms of depth and time in second quarter than the first and the reopening of economies will happen just gradually, the decline in GDP will be far larger in the second quarter," said Bert Colijn of investment bank ING.
"This is very much a recession on steroids," Mr Colijn wrote in a report.
Employment levels across the bloc fell by 0.2pc, the European Statistics Agency Eurostat said.
"This is the first decline in the time series since the second quarter of 2013 for the euro area and the first quarter of 2013 for the EU," it said.
The date did not contain a figure for the performance of the Irish economy.
Ireland's trade data for March showed a surge in exports with chemicals and pharmaceuticals sales to the US alone rising to €4.4bn - almost €2bn higher than a year earlier, although those numbers are highly volatile month-to-month.
That relatively strong performance may provide support to the economy even as domestic demand collapses due to people staying at home.
However, the Government expects the economy here to shrink by more than 10pc, wiping out all of country's economic growth since 2018. It has warned that the scars of the pandemic will linger far beyond the end of the lockdowns with a tenth of the workforce expected to be jobless next year.
China, the epicentre of the outbreak, has already lifted its quarantines and governments in the US and Europe are now easing their restrictions on movement and businesses. Here, garden centres and some construction sites will reopen on Monday.
But despite the loosening of lockdown consumers are still staying at home and not buying - which does not augur well for a rapid recovery.
According to TS Lombard economist Davide Oneglia, a survey this week in Italy suggests that Covid-19 has altered consumer behaviour.
"Unfortunately, the results don't look encouraging, suggesting only low attendance rates for most public places after the reopening and consequently a weak pick-up in consumption," he said. "In other words, like during the Great Depression, supply can't create its own demand."