Key German economic indicator posts biggest-ever fall

German economists’ forecasts have taken their hardest-ever hit since the ZEW research institute began conducting its closely-watched surveys.

The ZEW economic indicator for March plunged by 58.2 points on the previous month to minus 49.5 points, the Mannheim-based group said, marking the indicator’s farthest fall since it was launched in late 1991.

A drop into negative territory shows an overwhelmingly negative outlook among analysts.

Observers had been expecting a fall to minus 30 points, as the coronavirus pandemic grips global economies.

Experts expect Germany’s economy to shrink in real terms in the first quarter of 2020 and consider a continuing decline into the second quarter to be “very likely.”

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