Germany's economy stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to weaker private consumption and state spending, new data showed yesterday.
It renews fears of a recession as Angela Merkel's CDU party seeks a new leader and the coronavirus threatens exports.
Germany is Europe's economic engine and has been losing momentum, while the car sector faces disruption from a shift to electric cars.
Private consumption and state spending have been providing growth impetus and, if both continue to weaken this year, the risk of recession will rise.
"We think the economy will continue to flirt with recession in the first half of this year," Andrew Kenningham of Capital Economics said.