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Business

German think tank sees business climate worsen

Germany's Ifo research institute says business confidence among entrepreneurs in the eurozone has dropped considerably. Managers believe there's no easy quick way out of recession for the single currency bloc.

Business climate in the 17-member euro area has gravely deteriorated after rising for two months consecutively in the third quarter of this year, the Munich-based Ifo research institute reported on Thursday.

Its latest business sentiment index based on a poll of leading managers and economists revealed a drop to 88.9 points, down from 100.3 points for second-quarter assessments. It was thus way below the 109 points that had been the average value of all relevant Ifo surveys between 1996 and 2011.

"Those polled no longer have confidence that the national economies will recover in the next six months," Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn said in a release. "The unresolved eurozone debt crisis is taking its toll."

Good news few and far between

Assessments were negative both with regard to companies' evaluation of their current operations and their expectations for the rest of the year.

A majority of business leaders did not believe that Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus would be able to leave recession behind any time soon. "Nor is the current situation in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Slovenia seen in a much better light," Ifo said.

It added developments in Germany, Estonia and Finland were the only bright spots in the eurozone at the moment.

hg/slk (Reuters, dpa)