FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s economy will suffer a severe contraction in the second quarter, despite an easing of the most crippling restrictions put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Bundesbank said in a monthly economy report.
With much of Europe emerging from the third month of lockdown, life is slowly returning to normal. Many economists, however, expect the recovery to be halting and timid, suggesting the region may struggle with the lingering impact of the pandemic well beyond this year.
“Despite the easing measures that have been introduced, social and economic life in Germany is still very far from what was previously considered normal,” the Bundesbank said. “The available economic indicators paint a correspondingly bleak picture.”
The German economy shrunk by 2.2% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, its steepest fall since 2009, and the Bundesbank said that output would be “significantly lower” in the second quarter.
While the lifting of restrictions will help the economy, the central bank added that some restrictions are likely to stay in place for an extended period and consumer caution is also likely to prevail.
Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, editing by Larry King