The German economy shrank by 2.2% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the previous three-month period as shutdowns pushed the country into slowdown. It was the biggest quarterly fall since 2009, when the country was engulfed in the global financial crisis. Europe's biggest economy slipped into recession following a small dip at the end of last year. Figures for the final three months of 2019 were revised to show a contraction of 0.1%. That means German GDP growth has been negative for two successive quarters, which is the technical definition of a recession.