Germany: Business sentiment virtually unchanged in February
Business confidence rose marginally in February but remained mired in pessimistic territory, with the ifo Business Climate Index increasing to 96.1 in the month from a revised 96.0 in January (previously reported: 95.9). Data showed that this came mainly on the back of improved forward-looking expectations. Clemens Fuest, president of the ifo Institute, added that “the German economy seems unaffected by developments surrounding the coronavirus. The survey results and other indicators suggest economic growth in the first quarter will amount to 0.2 percent.”
Sector-level data revealed that sentiment in the manufacturing sector improved, as the outlook for the next six months was considerably less pessimistic, even though manufacturing firms’ assessment of the current situation worsened. The other three sectors—services, trade and construction—all witnessed a deterioration of business sentiment.