The German economy shrank by 5% last year as the Covid-19 pandemic took its toll, according to official figures.
The country’s national statistics office said that most sectors of the economy were “markedly affected” by the health emergency.
It was a sharp decline, although many economists had expected the contraction to be even worse.
The contraction was also less pronounced than the downturn in 2009 caused by the global financial crisis.
When adjusted for the number of working days (there were more last year than in 2019), the decline in GDP was somewhat deeper at 5.3%, although that is still not as pronounced as in 2009.
That said, it was described by Andrew Kenningham, of London-based consultancy Capital Economics, as a “huge slump”.
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