March 26, 2020 / 7:32 AM / in 7 days

Coronavirus blackens outlook for German exporters - Ifo

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at a terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The mood among German exporters fell to its lowest level since the global financial crisis, an Ifo institute survey showed on Thursday, signalling rough times ahead for manufacturers in Europe’s largest economy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Munich-based economic institute said export expectations in March fell to -19.8 from -1.1 in February, hitting the lowest level since May 2009 and marking the steepest fall since German reunification three decades ago.

“The Coronavirus pandemic is putting the brakes on world trade,” Ifo chief Clemens Fuest said in a statement. “Transnational logistics will become more difficult. As an export-nation, Germany is particularly affected.”

Ifo said on Wednesday that the German economy could shrink by as much as 20% this year, a devastating forecast whose impact Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government wants to cushion with a 750-billion-euro ($820 billion) stimulus package.

The survey showed that the outlook had darkened for all manufacturing sectors, particularly the automotive sector which is expecting a significant fall in exports.

Manufacturers of electrical equipment and the chemicals industry expect a moderate fall in exports, Ifo said.

($1 = 0.9170 euros)

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Toby Chopra

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