German Economy Not So Hot

The Ifo Institute, a primary economics research outfit in Germany, this morning released its German Business Climate Index for March. Overall, the index rose, from 109.7 in February to 109.8 in March, which was better that the consensus estimate of 109.6.

Under the hood, though, the German economy “is losing some of its momentum,” according to Ifo. The index measures business expectations in manufacturing, construction, retailing, and wholesaling. The manufacturing sector’s index fell by 0.3, and construction fell from 3.3 to 2.3. Retailers are the most optimistic about the country’s business climate, jumping the index from 3.7 in February to 10.6 in March. Wholesalers followed the manufacturing and construction sectors, with the index falling from 15 in February to 12.8 in March.

Ifo also surveys the services sector, and in March the index fell from 24.9 to 22.4. The services sector has a dim view of the current business situation in Germany.

The headline number, though, showed an increase and that has boosted European exchanges this morning, and is propping up US index futures.

The Ifo Institute’s press release is available here.

Paul Ausick