German business morale brightens more than expected in April

Data suggests Europe’s largest economy set to carry robust upswing into second quarter

Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe says the German economy is not being influenced by uncertainties such as the threat of rising protectionism, major elections in Europe and Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Getty Images

Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe says the German economy is not being influenced by uncertainties such as the threat of rising protectionism, major elections in Europe and Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Getty Images

 

German business morale brightened more than expected in April, hitting its highest in nearly six years, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is set to carry its robust upswing into the second quarter of this year.

The Munich-based Ifo economic institute said its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, rose to 112.9 from an upwardly revised 112.4 in March. The reading, the highest since July 2011, came in stronger than a Reuters consensus forecast for a value of 112.5.

“The German economy is growing strongly,” Ifo chief Clemens Fuest said in a statement.

Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe told Reuters that the German economy was not being influenced by political uncertainties such as the threat of rising protectionism, major elections in Europe and the course of Brexit negotiations.

Reaction

The survey was conducted in the first half of April, meaning it did not include any reaction to the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday in which centrist Emmanuel Macron came in first, qualifying for a May 7 the run-off alongside far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Managers’ assessments of the current business situation improved significantly, while their outlook for the coming six months was a bit less optimistic, it showed.

Morale improved in construction, retailing and wholesaling, whereas managers in manufacturing were less upbeat. In construction, assessments of the current business situation rose to a new record high, while expectations remained broadly positive and the order level was excellent, Ifo said. – Reuters