Confidence in Europe's largest economy eased this month, with manufacturers a bit less optimistic about the next six months.
Germany's closely wathed Ifo Business Climate index eased to 107 in February, from 107.9 last month.
Manufacturers offered less optimistic appraisals of their export opportunities than in January, and in construction and in retailing the business climate also worsened. In these two sectors the surveyed firms are clearly less satisfied with their current business situation than in January. With regard to the six-month outlook, however, retailers now express more confidence for the third time in a row. In construction the expectations declined marginally but still remain at a high level.
The Ifo Business Climate Index is based on about 7,000 monthly survey responses of firms in manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and retailing. The firms are asked to give their assessments of the current business situation and their expectations for the next six months. They can characterise their situation as “good”, “satisfactorily” or “poor” and their business expectations for the next six months as “more favorable,” “unchanged” or “more unfavorable.”