Germany business climate improves again in January – survey

25 January 2012 16:14  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s business climate improved for the third month in a row in January to its highest level in five months as most firms became more optimistic about their near-term outlook, an economics research group said on Wednesday.

The Munich-based Ifo Institute said its monthly business climate index for Europe’s largest economy rose to 108.3 points in January, up from 107.3 in December.

The index is based on survey responses from some 7,000 firms in manufacturing, construction, retailing and wholesaling, who are asked to assess their current business situation and their expectations for the next six months.

Overall, companies assessed their current business situation as less favourable than in December. However, their near-term business expectations had “brightened considerably,” Ifo said.

In manufacturing, companies see their current business situation as slightly improved and their business outlook as “clearly more favourable” than in the previous month.

Capacity utilisation in manufacturing is currently slightly lower than in autumn 2011. However, use of equipment and machinery remains above average, Ifo added.

In construction, firms assessed their current business situation no longer as favourable as in December. However, the construction industry is “significantly more confident” about its six-month business outlook than in the previous month.

In retailing, the business climate index fell. The business situation in that part of the economy is no longer as favourable as it was in December. Moreover, retailers are more sceptical about their short-term business outlook, Ifo said.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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