SINGAPORE (Apr 9): Evidence that March marked the start of a deep global recession is mounting. The breadth of the collapse is beginning to appear in the initial trickle of economic data across the world, revealing a cratering of trade, reined in business investment, cowering consumers and surging unemployment that is sparing few industries.

The hit to demand is visible on the world’s oceans, where a measure of US export volumes in the first two full weeks of March showed shipments abroad at less than half the year-earlier level, IHS Markit data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The damage is acute for autos: The number of anchored ships used to transport vehicles has jumped to 19% of the fleet, up from 11% a year ago, according to Bloomberg data.

After the US on April 2 reported higher-than-expected job losses, other figures for March have illustrated how the Covid-19 pandemic is extending the paralysis from producers to households, from big trading powers to more insulated economies and emerging markets.

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