Germany economy shrinks in first quarter, signaling one definition of recession

BERLIN (AP) — The German economy has shrunk unexpectedly in the first three months of this year, marking the second quarter of contraction that is one definition of recession. Data released Thursday by the Federal Statistical Office has Germany’s gross domestic product down by 0.3% in the period from January to March. That follows a drop of 0.5% in Europe’s biggest economy during the last quarter of 2022. Two consecutive quarters of contraction is a common definition of recession, though economists on the euro area business cycle dating committee use a broader set of data. The figures are a blow to the German government, which boldly doubled its growth forecast for this year after a winter energy crunch failed to materialize.