German economy contracts unexpectedly in second quarter

The data, combined with weakness in other large countries like Italy, is likely to raise new doubts about the recovery in the euro zone, which is struggling to emerge from the deep financial crisis that nearly tore it apart.

Germany’s Federal Statistics Office said the economy shrank by 0.2pc between April and June. It had been forecast to stagnate, according to a Reuters poll.

It was a marked slowdown from the January-March period, when the economy grew strongly, in part due to mild winter weather. In a further blow, the Statistics Office revised down the first quarter growth figure to 0.7pc, from a previously reported expansion of 0.8pc.

Unadjusted data showed the economy grew by 0.8pc on the year in the second quarter, missing the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for it to expand by 1.5pc.

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