The assessment of Germany’s prospects, as measured by businesses there, took an unexpected jump just after the government announced the poor export numbers of late last year. Businesses must believe that something about their prospects will change, even though the balance of the region is weak financially, and German consumers are not consuming anywhere near record levels. Perhaps there is hope that recoveries in the United States, China and the developing word will help.
The Ifo Business Climate Index for German industry and trade rose significantly by over three points in February. This represents its greatest increase since July 2010. Satisfaction with the current business situation continued to grow. Survey participants also expressed greater optimism about their future business perspectives. The German economy is regaining momentum.
Douglas A. McIntyre