Germany managed the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic relatively well thanks to an early and vigorous public health response. Nonetheless, unprecedented disruptions to economic and social activity caused a deep recession in the first half of 2020. The gradual easing of containment measures since late-April has led to a partial revival of growth, but in late-October a “lockdown light” was announced to counter a new wave of infections, and restrictions were further tightened in mid-December. Significant risks remain about the pace and extent of the recovery as the uncertain course of the epidemic continues to impact economic activity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic loss of human life and major damage to the European economy, but thanks to an exceptionally strong policy response, potentially devastating outcomes have been avoided.