BERLIN, March 31 (Xinhua) — Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Wednesday published ten key economic indicators of “particularly dramatic changes” that marked the COVID-19 crisis year 2020.
After ten years of growth, the German economy entered a deep recession in 2020 as price-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 4.9 percent compared with the previous year.
According to preliminary calculations, the state budget deficit reached 139.6 billion euros (163.8 billion U.S. dollars) last year — the first deficit since 2011 and the second-highest deficit since German reunification 30 years ago.
Air traffic in Germany saw the “biggest slump in decades” last year. Only 57.8 million passengers took off or landed at the country’s 24 largest commercial airports, a 74.5 percent decline year-on-year. International air traffic from Germany to important destination countries, such as the United States and China, declined by 80 percent and 88 percent, respectively.
Consumer spending fell by 5.0 percent in price-adjusted terms, the sharpest decline in decades.
Mail order and online retail businesses were the “clear winners” of the COVID-19 crisis. Between March 2020 and January 2021, year-on-year sales of online retailers surged 27.8 percent in real terms.
For the first time since 2011, the country’s population did not increase and fell to around 83.2 million by the end of 2020 because of a slight decrease in births and a noticeable increase in the number of deaths due to the pandemic.
In the 2020 academic year, 21 percent fewer foreign students started their studies at German universities.
Unlike during the financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009, wages declined and real earnings fell by an average of 1.1 percent year-on-year.
The number of traffic accidents recorded by police in the country dropped by 16.4 percent year-on-year in 2020, while that of traffic fatalities fell by 10.7 percent to the lowest level since records began.
Renewable energies in Germany set a new record in 2020. Forty-seven percent of the electricity generated and fed into the country’s grid came from renewables. With 25.6 percent, wind power had the highest share. Enditem