German exports collapse in April as coronavirus wrecks demand

Posting their biggest declines since records began 30 years ago, German exports and imports collapsed in April.

The data on Tuesday (June 9) adds to a gloomy outlook for Europe's biggest economy.

It's facing its deepest recession since World War Two.

And the big question is how quickly Germany's export-oriented model can recover.

Seasonally adjusted overseas shipments dived 24% on the month while imports slid by 16.5% as demand dried up.

The figures were worse than economists polled by Reuters had expected

One said "little is left of the last decade's export boom."

He added that while a recovery may have already started, the road out of the trough will be long and uncertain.

Desperate to speed up recovery, the German government last week announced a $146 billion stimulus package to help boost domestic demand.

But still, the government expects the economy to shrink by 6.3% this year.

It's thought around a quarter of German companies needed liquidity aid last month.

The pace of recovery also depends on European neighbours as well as Germany's trade partners such as China and the U.S.

Exports to France and the U.S, slid by about 48% and 36% respectively in April.

While those to China, which has started to emerge from the doldrums, fell by over 12%.