German company executives expect 2014 to become a sunny year for their business operations, according to the latest monthly confidence survey by the Ifo think tank. Its January index rose more than expected.
The Munich-based Ifo economic research institute said its closely-watched business confidence index climbed to 110.6 points in January, up from 109.5 points in the previous months.
Germany's most important mood-gauging barometer thus climbed to its highest level in about two and half years, indicating that Europe's largest economy was on track for astrong start to 2014
after growing only modestly last year.
The figures were based on a poll of 7,000 executives, representing a large number of industries.
Leaving the eurozone crisis behind
"Expectations haven't been as high for almost three years," Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn remarked. "The German business community looks to the future with a lot of confidence."
October 2013 saw the last marginal drop in confidence among executives representing Europe's biggest economy. But pundits would only have spoken of a trend reversal, had there been three monthly falls in a row.
Ifo calculated its headline index on the basis ofcompanies' assessments
of their current business and the outlook for the next six months. The sub-index measuring current business rose to 112.4 points in January from 111.6 points in December, while the outlook sub-index climbed to 108.9 points from 107.4 points a month earlier.
hg/kms (Reuters, dpa)