Coronavirus pushes German economy into recession

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Germany’s economy shrank by 2.2% in the first three months of this year as the coronavirus pandemic pushed it into recession, official figures indicate.

It was the biggest quarterly fall since 2009, when the country was engulfed in the global financial crisis.

The figures from the Federal Statistics Office come as Germany takes its first tentative steps to exit lockdown.

Shops are reopening, pupils will gradually return to class and football is restarting behind closed doors.

At the same time, figures for the final three months of 2019 were revised to show a contraction of 0.1%.

That means German GDP growth has been negative for two successive quarters, the technical definition of a recession.