March 10, 2020 / 12:43 PM / 22 days ago

Coronavirus to impact supply chains of German industry in coming weeks - Altmaier

BERLIN, March 10 (Reuters) - The coronavirus outbreak is already hitting the German economy through cancellations in tourism, and the industrial sector is expected to suffer supply chain problems in the coming weeks, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday.

Asked if the German economy, Europe’s largest, is heading into a recession in the first half of this year due to the coronavirus, Altmaier said that the economic situation was very difficult and that he hoped that restrictions to travel and civic life, as enacted in Italy, could be avoided in Germany.

Altmaier, speaking after talks with economy ministers from the 16 regional state governments, said that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday would pass more flexible short-time work rules, also know as Kurzarbeit, to help companies bridge liquidity problems and avoid layoffs. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Thomas Escritt)

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