As economies stagger, pressures grow to ease virus lockdowns

PARIS (AP) — The world’s economic pain was on full display as Europe and the United States were releasing more figures showing just how devastating the impact has been from coronavirus lockdown measures. The European economy shrank a record 3.8% in the first quarter as hotels, restaurants, construction sites and manufacturing were frozen by coronavirus shutdowns. It was the biggest drop in the eurozone since statistics began in 1995. France’s economy also shrank an eye-popping 5.8%, the biggest quarterly drop since 1949. The latest figures on Americans applying for unemployment benefits come out later Thursday, with economists estimating perhaps 1 in 6 workers, or nearly 30 million people, will have lost their jobs.