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Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Germany's manufacturing sector has been contracting all year, and its economy is at serious risk of falling into recession.

The state of play: Things continue to worsen for Europe's largest economy. This month its manufacturing sector showed its worst reading in 7 years, a continuation of a crumbling industry that just last month saw the sharpest slide in factory orders since the financial crisis.

  • In April, analysts at IHS Markit warned that the manufacturing sector was "clearly in deep recession" and companies had begun laying off workers.
  • "A large fall in the PMI is of course worrisome, particularly if it is a fall from a level that was already low," Jeromin Zettelmeyer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, tells Axios. "There is volatility in these numbers, so I would not panic, but I am indeed worried."

The big picture: The news is particularly bad, given that the European Commission had just written Germany's expected 2019 GDP growth down to 0.5%, and that was including higher expectations for July's manufacturing numbers.

What's next: Finance ministers from across Europe implored Germany to unleash fiscal stimulus measures in a report from the European Fiscal Board earlier this month. But calls for increased spending from Germany have been coming since February and thus far have not been heeded.

  • "The high dependence on exports and the Chinese sales market is increasingly becoming a burden and the trade dispute hangs like a sword of Damocles over the one-time poster boy of the euro region," said Patrick Hussy, a director at global investment research group Sentix. "A recession looks unavoidable."

Go deeper: Germany is Europe's most economically dangerous country

Go deeper

Federal Reserve expands lending program for small businesses

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at a news conference in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said on Friday it would again lower the minimum loan size for its pandemic-era small business program.

Details: Businesses and nonprofits will be able to borrow a minimum of $100,000 from the facility, down from $250,000 — a move that might attract smaller businesses that don't need as hefty of a loan. Since the program launched earlier this year, the minimum loan size has been reduced twice.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business

How Trump and Biden would steer the future of transportation

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden would likely steer automotive policy in different directions over the next four years, potentially changing the industry's road map to the future.

Why it matters: The auto industry is on the cusp of historic technological changes and the next president — as well as the next Congress — could have an extraordinary influence on how the future of transportation plays out.