Russian energy import freeze would hit Germany as hard as Covid – source

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Industrial facilities of the PCK Raffinerie oil refinery in Schwedt/Oder

BERLIN – A short-term freeze on energy imports from Russia resulting from its invasion of Ukraine is likely to cause a collapse in German gross domestic product similar to that prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study distributed by a German economy ministry source on Thursday.

The study was also cited by the source as saying such a drop would have dramatic social consequences.

Economic output fell by 4.6% during the first coronavirus crisis year 2020. It expanded by 2.9% last year, but contracted over the last three month of 2021 due to new restrictions to fight the pandemic and supply chain disruptions.

Rating agency Scope cut its 2022 growth forecast for the German economy to 3.5% from 4.4% following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Markus Wacket, Reinhard Becker; Writing by Madeline Chambers and Miranda Murray; Editing by Thomas Escritt, Kirsti Knolle)