Germany’s industrial sector is facing an even deeper crunch as manufacturing orders dried up in February, dashing any hope of a quick recovery for the eurozone economy.

Exports plunged as the global economic slowdown bit hard, threatening the core of the eurozone’s industrial sector.

Economists at the Ifo Institute slashed their growth forecasts by more than half, warning that “the long-term upswing has thus apparently come to an end”.

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