BERLIN (Reuters) - German export expectations in September fell to their lowest level since 2009, the Ifo institute said on Wednesday, in the latest sign that waning foreign demand and Brexit uncertainty are pushing Europe’s largest economy into recession.
The export-reliant economy is suffering from slower global growth and business uncertainty caused by U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ trade policies and Britain’s planned exit from the European Union.
Ifo’s gauge measuring export expectations fell to -5.2 from -2.3, its lowest reading since July 2009 when the global financial crisis hit the German economy.
“At the moment, there are hardly any positive signals from the global economy for German exporters,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said. The risk of a no-deal Brexit is already affecting German exporters through increased uncertainty, he said.
Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe said on Tuesday that the German economy is likely to shrink again in the third quarter despite a slight improvement in overall business morale.
That would put the economy in recession - usually defined as a period of at least two consecutive quarters of contraction - after it shrank by 0.1% in the second quarter.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Jason Neely