Germany’s economy has flatlined. The coronavirus could push it into recession

Germany's economy has flatlined. The coronavirus could push it into recession
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Europe’s largest economy, suffering a severe Growth Recession throughout all of 2019 in large part because of the Trump Trade Wars plus Brexit, now finds itself on the cusp of falling into a severe outright contraction with the not-so-tiny straw on its back of the coronavirus outbreak.

Right before the deadly coronavirus outbreak set in, Germany’s economy ground to a halt — setting up the country for a tough 2020 just when it was meant to be kicking into recovery mode. Germany said Friday that it registered zero growth in the final three months of 2019, driven in part by continued weakness in its manufacturing sector. The country’s statisticians had predicted a modest rise. Now economists are once again talking about the prospect of a recession, or two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Germany relies heavily on exports to China, whose economy has been paralyzed by the virus outbreak. The number of cases has jumped to 64,000 globally . “The impact from the coronavirus on the Chinese economy is likely to delay any rebound in the manufacturing sector as it at least temporarily disrupts supply chains,” Carsten Brzeski, chief German economist at ING, told clients Friday. “Stagnation, with a risk of a technical recession, currently looks like the only dish served,” he continued. The big picture: The world’s fourth largest economy, and Europe’s biggest, had a feeble 2019 amid weak global auto sales, the US-China trade conflict and the prospect of a disorderly Brexit. The spread of the new coronavirus means that it won’t start off 2020 in better shape. Similar fears spring up when looking elsewhere in Europe. GDP for the eurozone grew by just 0.1% in the last three months of 2019, according to data published Friday. “The [eurozone] economy should be about to […]

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