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German Economy Contracted 5.0% in 2020 as Pandemic Takes Toll on Activity

By Maria Martinez


The German economy posted the second-worst performance since the 1950s in 2020, following the 5.7% GDP contraction in 2009 due to the financial crisis.

Germany's gross domestic product fell by an adjusted 5.0% in 2020, following 0.6% growth in 2019 and 1.3% in 2018, according to a preliminary estimate by the German statistics office Destatis released Thursday. This was a slight upshot to the 5.1% contraction forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

"After a ten-year growth period, the German economy suffered a deep recession in 2020, the year of the corona," Destatis said.

In calendar-adjusted terms, GDP declined by 5.3% in 2020, as the number of working days was higher than in 2019. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 5.4% contraction.

Almost all economic sectors were markedly affected by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, with both industry and services suffering steep declines, Destatis said. The only sector that could sustain its position in the crisis was construction, which saw output increase by 1.4% year-on-year.

Destatis plans to release the preliminary data for the fourth quarter on Jan. 29.


Write to Maria Martinez at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 14, 2021 04:46 ET (09:46 GMT)

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