26 August 2009 15:48 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany’s business climate improved again in August, with a key indicator marking its fifth straight monthly increase as Europe’s largest economy slowly recovers, a top economic research firm said on Wednesday.
The Ifo business climate index rose to 90.5 in August, up from 87.4 in July, said Munich-based Ifo Institut. Economists polled by a newswire had expected a reading of 89 for August.
However, the index is still down from 94.4 in August 2008. It is based on 7,000 monthly survey responses of firms in manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and retailing.
In manufacturing, firms were, on the whole, dissatisfied with current business, but they no longer expected a worsening in the next six months and were less sceptical about their export opportunities, the insitute said.
However, while planned reductions in staff levels were no longer as extensive as in July, manufacturers remained “clearly geared towards cuts in employment,” Ifo said.
Germany-based chemicals major BASF said last week that it was considering ending short-time working hours at is main production hub in Ludwigshafen, partly because demand was stabilising, albeit at low levels.
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