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German unemployment could top 3 million in worst coronavirus case - institute

People walk in the main shopping street as shops are closed during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cologne

(Reuters) - Germany's unemployment could climb by 90,000 to 2.356 million in 2020 if the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic is mild, but the number of people out of work could top 3 million if the crisis is more severe, the IAB labour market research institute said.

In a research paper published on Friday, the institute said it expected Germany's economic output to shrink by 2% in 2020 as a result of the epidemic. Its predictions are based on the assumption that parts of the economy would effectively shut down for six weeks and that the return to normal would take as long.

(Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin)