The German economy shrank in the last three months of 2012, with a plunge in exports driving the contraction.
Seasonally adjusted data from the Federal Statistics Office confirmed an earlier flash estimate showing that German GDP fell by a more-than-expected 0.6 per cent in the last quarter of the year.
It marks the biggest fall since the economy contracted by 4.1 per cent at the start of 2009.
Foreign trade deducted 0.8 per cent from GDP while domestic demand added 0.2 per cent.
The data showed that exports dropped by two per cent in the fourth quarter while imports fell by 0.6 per cent, boding ill for struggling Eurozone states that had hoped to offload more of their goods on Germany, where rising wages, high employment and moderate inflation have boosted domestic demand.