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Business

German business confidence hits 20-year high

Germany suffered its worst recession in six decades in 2009. But a closely watched survey from the Ifo Institute shows that businesses are regaining confidence as the country gradually swings back into economic gear.

Thumbs-up sign with German colors

The German business world gives a thumbs-up to the economy

A key survey released on Wednesday showed German business confidence rising to its highest level since reunification in 1990.

The widely watched business climate index of the Munich-based Ifo Institute jumped from 107.7 in October to 109.3 in November, its sixth consecutive rise.

The rise took the index above the 108.4 level it reached in May 2007, three months before the financial crisis hit.

German economy gaining momentum

Releasing the report, Ifo chief Hans-Werner Sinn said the German economic upswing was gaining more and more momentum.

The Ifo survey is based on responses from some 7,000 companies.

The release of the latest Ifo index same just a day after the Nuremberg-based GfK marketing research institute said its consumer confidence indicator would next month hit its highest level in more than three years.

Recovery from recession

After suffering the worst recession in more than 60 years in 2009, Germany has been makinge a good recovery in 2010. Figures released on Tuesday by the statistics office confirmed that the German economy grew by 0.7 percent in the third quarter, well ahead of fellow EU members France and Italy.

The German government expects the country's economy to expand by overall 3.4 percent in 2010, before slowing to 1.8 percent the following year.

Author: Timothy Jones (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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