German economy contracts in first quarter

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The German economy fell in the first quarter, according to a first estimate released Friday by the Federal Statistical Office.

Gross domestic product fell 1.7% adjusted from the previous quarter, according to Destatis. This drop was larger than economists’ expectations of a 1.5% contraction in the Wall Street Journal survey.

The coronavirus crisis caused a further decline in economic performance in early 2021. The restrictions negatively impacted household consumption, while exports of goods supported the economy, Destatis said.

GDP declined 3.0% year-on-year in the first quarter on a calendar and price-adjusted basis, Destatis said. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected a contraction of 3.2%.

The German statistics office also revised the performance of the economy in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 0.5% growth against 0.3% previously estimated.

German data follows the release of the first estimates of first quarter GDP in France, Spain and Italy. The French economy posted an expansion of 0.4%, while the Spanish and Italian economies posted contractions of 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively.

Germany’s statistics office will release final first quarter GDP results on May 25.

Write to Maria Martinez at [email protected]


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