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Business

German economy is robust, says latest Ifo report

For the ninth month in a row, German business confidence has risen, hitting a 42-year high in February, according to Munich's Ifo institute. Eurozone growth has also improved, says PMI survey.

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Construction is one area where firms are 'more satisfied'

German business confidence hit a 42-year record high in February, the Ifo Institute said on Monday. It was the index's ninth consecutive rise.

Ifo surveys 7,000 German companies monthly, to get a sense of confidence in the economy.

In February, Ifo's measure of business sector confidence hit 111.2 points, demonstrating "the upswing in the German economy is robust," Ifo Institute president Hans-Werner Sinn said in a statement.

Germany is benefiting from strong global economic activity and a very loose European Central Bank monetary policy oriented towards struggling eurozone economies like Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Retailers not so confident

After January's record high of 110.3 points, most analysts had been expecting the index to recede somewhat, especially following severe winter weather.

Ifo said confidence in exports, manufacturing and construction had risen, with the only sector showing signs of cooling off being retailing. Sinn's statement said retailers are "no longer quite as satisfied with their present business situation as before."

Meanwhile another keenly watched survey, the purchasing manager's index (PMI) compiled by Markit across the eurozone as a whole, also jumped up. The PMI went from 57.0 points to 58.4 points in February, owing to a pick-up in both the manufacturing and service sector industries.

Author: Catherine Bolsover (AFP/dpa)
Editor: Michael Lawton

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