The government predicts that exports will be down by 11% year-on-year in 2020, and economic growth this year will shrink to minus 6.3%, which will constitute the worst recession for the country since the Second World War.
Like nearly all European Union states, Germany did not go into lockdown to slow the spread of the virus until around mid-March, so the bulk of the impact of those curbs will only become apparent in second-quarter data as sectors like tourism, and bars and restaurants, remain shut.
The German economy's decline reflects its biggest quarterly drop since the global financial and economic crash of 2009 and the second-largest decrease since German unification.
"The German economy has been tiptoeing on the edge of recession since the beginning of 2019, but it can hide no longer", said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
The country started loosening restrictions on April 20 and the process has gathered pace recently.
This impact is partly on account of a call by Germany's 16 states to permit factories and building websites to remain open, in addition to an unprecedented rescue package deal by the federal government. "To be more precise, incoming data will be worse, even though the worst might already be behind us".
Any pickup in economic activity is, however, going to be slow and dependent on how fast the wider eurozone recovers. Before Germany, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday that the Dutch economy contracted 1.7% in the first quarter. Germany officially went into lockdown in mid-March, towards the end of the first quarter, suggesting the next quarterly figures could show a much larger downturn.
According to Albert Braakmann, the senior statistics officer, this followed a 0.3% gain in last year's third quarter, which saw a 0.1% contraction during the fourth quarter, which was later revised down to zero in February's growth.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected national output in the first quarter to shrink by 2.2 percent quarter on quarter and 2 percent year on year.