Germany CRISIS: Economy Minister Says Berlin Must ACT NOW As Economists Fear RECESSION

Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector in Germany also nodded to companies changing down a gear with new orders falling at the fastest rate in four years.

Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing, which accounts for about a fifth of the economy, tumbled to a 33-month low of 51.5 in December, down from 51.8 in November.

The number is inching closer to the 50.0 level which marks a contraction.

Stefan Schilbe of HSBC described recent downcast economic data from Germany as both “bad and unexpected” as he predicted a recession “now seems likely”.

Mr Schilbe told Business Insider: "The decline was broad-based across sectors, with no bright spots.

“Manufacturing fell by 1.8 percent month-on-month with the consumer goods sector once again being the major drag.

“Today's data were both bad and unexpected.

“A technical recession in German industry now seems likely.”

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