GERMANY FALLS INTO RECESSION
Berlin: Germany has fallen into recession after high prices took a bigger toll on the country’s economy than originally anticipated, official data revealed in May. The data by Germany’s federal statistical office showed gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous three months, which also recorded a contraction, reports the Guardian.
The revised numbers confirm that the German economy shrank for two straight quarters -- the technical definition of a recession -- following a 0.5 per cent drop in the three months to December 2022. Initial estimates released in April had suggested that Germany had narrowly avoided a recession, merely stagnating with 0 per cent growth.
“It took a couple of statistical revisions, but at the end of the day, the German economy actually did this winter what we had feared already since last summer: it fell into a technical recession,” said Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at the Dutch bank ING.
The statistics office said that while private sector investment and construction grew at the start of the year, this was offset in part by a drop-off in consumer spending as higher prices forced households to pinch their pennies, the Guardian reported. “The persistence of high price increases continued to be a burden on the German economy at the start of the year,” the statistics office said.
Overall, household spending dropped 1.2 per cent in the first quarter, with shoppers less willing to splash out on food, clothes, and furniture. Government spending also dipped by 4.9 per cent compared with the previous quarter.