Germany's state statistics agency reported two weeks ago that the country saw zero economic growth in the fourth quarter and a mediocre 0.6% increase for the whole year. The country's troubles are a central problem for the 19-country eurozone economy and the European Central Bank, which is trying to stimulate flagging growth and inflation with negative interest rates and bond purchases with newly printed money.
"Until now, the German labor market has shown a remarkable resistance against external shocks, like global trade conflicts, the manufacturing slump or recently the coronavirus," said ING economist Carsten Brzeski in a research note.
“Strong domestic demand, services and demographics have increased the labor market's immunity. However, successes of the past are no guarantee for the future and underneath the strong headline numbers, there are already some cracks.”