Germany is officially in recession after its economy shrank by 2.2% in the first quarter of the year as the global coronavirus shutdown began to bite.The latest official data gives an insight into the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to Europe’s biggest economy, with worse expected to come.The fall over the three months to March was the second-biggest quarterly decline since German reunification in 1990.It was beaten only by a 4.7% drop in the first quarter of 2009 at the height of the financial crash.It follows a 0.1% contraction in the fourth quarter, which was revised down from an initial report of zero growth. Advertisement That change puts Germany into a technical recession, with two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.Like other European countries, Germany did not go into lockdown until around mid-March, and so the main impact of the restrictions on people and businesses will only become apparent in the current second quarter. A 10% economic contraction is widely forecast for the period, although “the exact extent of the slump depends in part on the easing of restrictions on public life”, said Albert Braakmann of Germany’s federal statistics office.ING’s chief economist for the eurozone, Carsten Brzeski, said: “If today’s… Read full this story
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