The German economy has experienced its biggest crisis in 50 years.


Germany’s economy shrank 10.1% from April to June from the previous quarter, the biggest drop since the government started keeping data in 1970.

But the figure, which covers the peak period of pandemic shutdowns, may already be old news. Surveys of business leaders indicate that Europe’s largest economy is rebounding rapidly, although it will likely take months or years before growth returns to normal, and the risk of further setbacks is high.

The German labor market stabilized in July, according to data released Thursday by the national labor office. The number of unemployed fell by 18,000 after rising sharply from April to June. But unemployment could rise later in the year if many businesses collapse and workers who are currently furloughed end up unemployed.

Germany is in a better position than other European Union countries like Italy or Spain, in part because the government has managed to contain the spread. At the same time, new coronavirus infections are rising again as Germans return from holidays abroad, and there are fears of a second wave.

The pandemic has left deep scars on the German economy even though the pain is less severe than in many other countries, including the United States.

About 7 million people in Germany are on government-subsidized paid leave, and not all of them will get their jobs back. Companies like the automaker Daimler and German Bank are permanently reducing their workforce in response to changes in their industries that go beyond the pandemic.


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