German business confidence beats forecasts, hits fresh 6-year high – Ifo

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Another day, another unexpectedly strong German business survey.

Confidence among German businesses beat forecasts to hit its highest level since 2011 in March, according to the Institute for Economic Research (Ifo).

Ifo’s overall business climate index rose to 112.3 from last month’s 111.6. The gain was supported by improvements in the sub-indices for both current trading assessments and future expectations, which rose to 119.3 and 105.7 respectively.

Analysts had expected all three numbers to slip slightly.

The strong results support the picture presented by last week’s PMI surveys, which suggested the eurozone’s largest economy was in its best health for six years.

Ifo’s survey is based on interviews with around 7,000 German businesses across the manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail industries.

Carsten Brzeski, chief economist for Germany and Austria at ING, said the businesses appear to have shaken off earlier worries about the US election result. He said:

The expectation component seems to have digested earlier concerns about the impact from the new US administration and has returned back to end-2016 levels.

All in all, even though the German economy could still use some new structural reforms, today’s Ifo index illustrates that low interest rates, a relatively weak euro and continued government consumption should once again extend the current golden cycle.

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