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PARIS — Cavernous factories devoid of workers. Cranes frozen in midair over construction sites. Millions of people confined to their homes, spending a fraction of what they used to before the coronavirus hit.

Europe’s pandemic-induced lockdowns were widely expected to throw the continent into a deep recession. On Wednesday, Germany and France, the largest economies, showed just how bad it’s about to get, warning that they were headed toward their sharpest downturns since World War II.

France officially slid into a recession after suffering one of the worst quarterly contractions in more than 50 years. Growth tumbled an estimated 6 percent from January to April, from the fourth quarter, when the economy shrank slightly because of nationwide strikes, the central bank said. For every two weeks the population remains under confinement, the economy shrinks by at least 1.5 percent, it added.

And Germany is sliding toward its deepest recession on record, with growth expected to plunge almost 10 percent from April through June, five leading economic institutes said Tuesday.

Together, the reports underscored how quickly the situation is snowballing, putting pressure on governments as they scramble to calculate timetables for reopening their economies and weigh billions more in fiscal support to blunt the damage — beyond trillions already pledged in recent weeks.

Yet if Germany, the biggest economy, is a marker, any rebound later this year will not be enough to compensate for a dismal first half. For the full year, the German economy will have shrunk 4.2 percent, the German institutes predicted.

In the eurozone, the group of 19 European Union nations that share the same currency, analysts expect a recession and a contraction of around 13 percent this year. By contrast, in 2009, the worst financial crisis year for the bloc, the economy shrank 4.5 percent.

The measures, which would be on top of policies adopted by individual countries to aid their own economies, consist of a three-part package worth about a half-trillion euros, including 240 billion euros in emergency loans from the eurozone’s standing bailout fund, credit guarantees from the European Investment Bank to keep companies from collapsing and support for short-work schemes that help companies avoid layoffs.

Germany, the Netherlands and some other European Union countries are insisting that aid come with restrictions on government spending and other conditions that are politically unacceptable in Italy and Spain, where residents object to northern countries telling them what to do.

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