Gross domestic product — one of the main indicators of economic health — has slumped in the first quarter of 2022, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced on Monday.
Across OECD countries, GDP rose by only 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter according to provisional estimates, a sharp slowdown compared with the 1.2 per cent increase in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Most nations in the G7 also had slowing or contracting GDP as the bloc of industrialised economies fell by 0.1 per cent compared with an increase of 1.2 per cent the previous quarter.
The UK and Canada managed to record growth but weaker than the previous quarter, at 0.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.
Elsewhere in the G7, the US had negative growth at minus 0.4 per cent, Italy at minus 0.2 per cent and Japan at minus 0.2 per cent. France recorded zero growth.
Germany was the only G7 country where the pace of growth increased, with GDP growth of 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared with minus 0.3 per cent in the previous quarter.
The German economy is on track for a tepid economic recovery but risks are tilted to the downside and Berlin should focus on cushioning the impact of the war in Ukraine and on securing gas supplies, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Fiscal policy in Europe's largest economy should be flexible in the uncertain environment that includes the war and navigating out of Covid restrictions, the IMF said in Monday.
The IMF said it projected that growth in the German economy would slow to about 2 per cent in 2022, picking up in 2023.
Among other OECD countries, Portugal and Austria recorded the highest increases in GDP compared with the previous quarter, at 2.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.
Decreases were recorded in Norway, with minus 1.0 per cent, Chile (minus 0.8 per cent), Costa Rica (minus 0.5 per cent), Israel and Sweden (minus 0.4 per cent in both countries) and Denmark (minus 0.1 per cent).