Germany's public sector deficit reached €189.2 billion in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first deficit since 2013 and the highest budget shortfall since German reunification three decades ago.

The pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 77,000 lives in Germany, has devastated Europe's largest economy, even though it has proven more resilient than many expected, partly because of continuing strong export demand from China.

Public spending rose 12.1% to €1.7 trillion as the government pulled out all the stops to offset the impact of months of lockdown, while tax take fell 3.5% to 1.5 trillion euros, the statistics office said.