BERLIN – Germany’s economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019, the country’s statistics office said in a statement on Wednesday.
It was the second time in a year Germany has reported a shrinkage in GDP in a quarterly review as the engine of the European Union starts to feel the effects of the United States-China trade war and tremors in the automobile industry.
“In the second quarter of 2019, the real (price-adjusted) gross domestic product in Germany decreased by 0.1% on the first quarter of 2019, after adjustment for seasonal and calendar variations,” the government office said.
“The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that Germany experienced a slight decline in economic performance.”
“The development of foreign trade slowed down economic growth because exports recorded a stronger quarter-on-quarter decrease than imports.”
The slump in the second quarter of the year comes after a 0.4 percent increase in the first.
Fears of a recession already reared their head when Germany closed out a flat year in 2018 marked by a 0.2 percent contraction in the economy in the third quarter.
Compared to the same quarter the previous year, the German economy was up 4 percent, Destatis said.
One of the driving factors behind the poor results is the ongoing trade tariff war between Beijing and Washington, the effects of which have rippled across the global economy.
According to data released in recent days, German industrial production fell 5.2 percent year-on-year, the largest decline in a decade, while exports dropped 8 percent, a three-year low.
Brexit has also added to the uncertainty, with the UK’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, harnessing a potential no-deal Brexit as an outcome while a general cooling in the eurozone also had its effect.
Germany’s all-important motor industry, its main export, has also suffered a drop in demand, partly due to new emission standards put out by the European Union last year.