The economic outlook over Berlin and other German cities has been dim since the coronavirus hit. Photo: AFP/Annette Riedl/dpa

German industrial output plunged a record 17.9% in April compared with March as the coronavirus pandemic shut down Europe’s biggest economy, official data showed Monday.

After a fall of 8.9% in March, industrial output experienced “its biggest drop since this data was first recorded in January 1991,” the Destatis official statistics agency said.

Compared with April 2019, industrial output was down 25.3%. The April outcome was worse than the average 16% fall expected by analysts.

By category, April machine tools were down 35.3% on the month, intermediate goods fell 13.8% and consumer goods were off 8.7%.

The key auto industry saw output slump 74.6%, but construction held up much better, with a fall of only 4.1%.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge economic disruption around the world but Germany has managed to do better than many of its peers, with total economic output down 2.2% in the first three months of the year.