Germany expects record recession due to coronavirus

Germany expects record recession in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic

People wear protective face masks at the main railway station in Hamm on April 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: AFP Photo

Germany has slashed its economic growth forecast for this year, the economy ministry said on Wednesday, predicting the coronavirus pandemic would plunge Europe's largest economy into the deepest recession in its post-war history.

The government cut its estimate for gross domestic product growth in 2020 to -6.3% from +1.1% predicted in January, the ministry said. It expects the recession to bottom out in the second quarter and economic activity to pick up again after that.

For 2021, the government expects the economy to rebound with an expansion rate of +5.2%. The forecasts are based on the assumption that authorities can gradually unwind lockdown measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

 

'Worldwide travel warning extended'

Germany is extending its worldwide travel warning until mid-June, saying the coronavirus situation is too dire to change the guidance.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says the warning, due to expire May 3, would be extended to June 14 because there has been no change to the danger posed by the pandemic. Maas says he will discuss the matter with European partners in the coming weeks.

He says, “naturally we all hope we won't need this travel warning after June 14.”

Among other things, the official warning means that Germans who had booked vacations for the dates can get refunds, another likely blow to the European travel industry.

(With inputs from Reuters and AP)