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People walk by a sign in a store window in Berlin, Germany that reads: "Branch Store Closing, up to 50% Liquidation Sale" - 


Steve Chiotakis: Germany is reeling from some sobering numbers, and officially now, it's in recession. Here's Kyle James in Berlin.

Kyle James: Germany has long prided itself on being the world's export champion. But its dependence on foreign markets is a big reason the economy has gone into the red. That's according to Jurgen Matthes, a senior economist at the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.

Jurgen Matthes: Our export ratio in GDP is close to 50 percent, much larger than compared to Japan or to the U.S. And so when the world economy gets into problems, Germany's export gets into problems, and that's what we see now.

German engineering giant Siemens has announced thousands of layoffs. At the same time, car makers from Opel to BMW are cutting back on production.

Next year doesn't look much better. A panel of top economic advisors yesterday predicted zero growth in 2009 and higher unemployment. They called on the government to spend more than $60 billion to help the country weather the storm.

In Berlin, I'm Kyle James for Marketplace.