BERLIN - The German economy will shrink by 6.5% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government's council of economic advisers said on Tuesday, adding that the slump will be prolonged if the number of new infections jumps again.
"The coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause the largest slump of the German economy since the founding of the Federal Republic. But we expect the recovery to start in the summer," council head Lars Feld said.
Adjusted for calendar effects, the German economy is seen shrinking by 6.9% this year. The council said it expects a slow recovery in the second half of the year, with gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to grow by 4.9% next year.
"This means GDP probably won't get back to its pre-pandemic level until 2022 at the earliest," the council said in a statement, adding that the government's stimulus measures were likely to support the recovery.
The economic advisors cautioned, however, that the forecast was subject to "considerable uncertainty" as a second wave of new coronavirus infections would prolong the slump.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Michelle Martin) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +49 30 2888 5085; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com www.twitter.com/REUTERS_DE www.reuters.de))