German business confidence posts surprise gain | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.05.2013
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German business confidence posts surprise gain

A leading German think tank has found the mood among the country's business executives is getting better again. A confidence barometer showed they were more positive about the future than in the previous months.

German business confidence rose unexpectedly in May, the Munich based-Ifo economic research institute reported on Friday. The closely watched business climate index rose to 105.7 points from 104.4 points in April.

It marked the first rise in the think tank's benchmark barometer after two consecutive monthly declines.

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The survey was again based on a poll of some 7,000 company executives and revealed that the mood among managers improved in nearly all sectors of the economy except the building industry.

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Ifo calculated its reading on the basis of companies' assessments of their current situation and their outlook for the next six months.

"The firms are clearly more satisfied with their current business situation than in the previous month," Ifo economist Kai Carstensen said in a statement. "The German economy remains on track in a challenging European environment."

Europe's biggest economy recorded only 0.1-percent growth in the first quarter of the year, but Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, said the economy would pick up in the months ahead. However, in its latest monthly report the bank warned that the situation would remain volatile against the backdrop of recession elsewhere in the eurozone.

hg/hc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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