8/14/2019

Germany’s Economy Posts Quarterly Decline

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Germany says its economy has shrunk for the second time in four quarters, contracting 0.1% in April-June compared with the previous three months.

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Germany says its economy has shrunk for the second time in four quarters, contracting 0.1% in April-June compared with the previous three months.

The second-quarter decline cuts Germany’s economic growth rate through the first half of 2019 to 0.4%, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

The country’s service and construction sectors remain relatively robust for now. Unemployment is low, and spending by consumers and government grew.

But analysts describe the outlook for Germany’s all-important export business and the manufacturing base that supports it as “ominous.” The results of several manufacturing outlook surveys turned pessimistic. One example: Yesterday’s ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment among Germany’s financial exports plunged 20 points to a nine-year low of minus 44.1 because of worries about trade.

The government notes that exports slowed more quickly than imports in the second quarter. Chancellor Angela Merkel remains optimistic that Germany’s economy will post a modest gain this year.