The confidence among German business leaders in a recovery in the eurozone's biggest economy has declined again, undermined by continued slow growth, according to data released Wednesday. The Ifo institute, whose monthly poll is one of the most important methods of gauging the health of the German economy, said its business climate index fell to 94.0 in March from a revised figure for the month of February of 95.4. The Munich-based institute put the drop down mainly to higher raw material prices, and its chairman and analysts said it could signal a slowdown in the country's economic recovery. "Unfortunately, the signs are increasing that the dynamism in economic recovery is slowing down," said Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn. Every month, the institute polls about 7,000 companies, primarily in the key manufacturing and trade sectors, about their assessment of current business and their expectations for the next six months. Its March business assessment index fell to 93.3 from a revised figure of 94.5 in February, and business expectations fell to 94.6 from 96.4. Analysts had been forecasting an improvement. Germany has recorded only minor growth after it narrowly escaped its third recession in four years at the end of last year and its
unemployment rate has recently surged to 5.2 million.