German exports down nearly a quarter in April as virus hits

BERLIN (AP) — Official data shows that German exports plunged by nearly a quarter in April compared with the previous month as coronavirus shutdowns dragged down demand. Tuesday’s figures from the Federal Statistical Office followed data showing big drops in factory orders and industrial production in Europe’s biggest economy, underlining expectations of a sharp economic contraction in the second quarter. Exports dropped 24% in April, following an 11.7% decline in March. That was the month when European countries, including Germany, started imposing lockdowns. In year-on-year terms, exports dropped 31.1% in April, the biggest drop since records began in 1950.