A slump in capital investments, private consumption and exports pushed the German economy into a recession in the first quarter, detailed data showed on Monday, giving a glimpse of the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Federal Statistics Office said capital investments fell by 6.9%, private consumption by 3.2% and exports by 3.1%.
This meant that private consumption took off 1.7 percentage points of overall economic activity and net trade shaved off 0.8 percentage points, leading to a first-quarter contraction of 2.2%.
The lockdown started in Germany on March 22 and was less stringent than in other eurozone countries. Economists expect to see a sharper GDP contraction in the second quarter. With the German economy starting its gradual reopening on April 20, a larger chunk of second-quarter output will be lost than in the first quarter.
Roughly 45 million people were in employment in the first quarter, an increase of 147,000 people or 0.3% on the year. Such a small year-on-year increase had last been observed in the second quarter of 2010, Destatis said.