Data released today showed that German exports and imports fell in April, marking its largest decline since 1990 as the Coronavirus crisis reduced demand, adding to the bleak outlook for Europe's largest economy.
Many economists believe that the second quarter will push the German economy into its deepest recession since the end of World War II.
Seasonally-adjusted exports declined by 24% during in April, while imports fell by 16.5%. The Federal Statistics Office reported the German trade surplus decreased to €3.2 billion, while expectations were for exports to decrease by 15.6% and imports to fall 16%. The net trade surplus is expected to reach €10 billion.
Despite the €130 billion stimulus package announced last week, which came on top of the €750 billion of measures announced in March, the government expects the economy to contract by 6.3% this year.
Economists expect a slow recovery and its pace will largely depend on how quickly Germany's European neighbors and other trade partners, including China and the United States, emerge from the crisis.
The office said that exports to France and the United States, which were severely affected by the pandemic, had declined further, while exports to China, which had been affected by the virus but have since shown some signs of recovery, had decreased more sharply.