German economy hit harder than expected by COVID crisis | News | DW

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Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell slightly more than expected during the January to March period of this year, contracting 1.8% from data for the last quarter of 2020, the last quarter of 2020 said on Tuesday. Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

In April, Destatis estimated a collapse of 1.7%.

Much of the fall can be attributed to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken to stem its spread.

Lockdowns and restrictions amid pandemic led to decline in private consumption

Where were the losses and the gains?

The most affected economic sector was private consumption, with households spending 5.4% less on goods and services. Destatis said this was a clear result of the coronavirus restrictions.

On the positive side, investment in construction rose 1.1%. International trade also picked up at the start of the year, with imports of goods and services up 3.8%, while exports grew only 1.8%.

Compared to the same period in 2020, however, Germany’s GDP fell by 3.4%. And compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, before the onset of the coronavirus crisis, the economy fell 5%.

Due to restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19, businesses across Germany remained largely closed under strict closures in the first few months of the year.

As the number of new cases has started to decline, parts of Germany have started to reopen in recent weeks.

tj / rs (dpa, AFP)


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