German business morale at highest since reunification

Julian Harris
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GERMAN business confidence continues to surge hitting its highest level since reunification, a survey released yesterday showed.

Economists had expected no improvements in the Ifo Business Survey for November, yet the index revealed an enhanced business climate for the sixth consecutive month.

The indicator jumped to 109.3 points, up 16.5 per cent on the same time last year. It has now reached the highest level since the survey began almost two decades ago.

Signs of a consumer recovery were supported by a 45 per cent surge in confidence in the retailing sector, while figures for manufacturing and construction were also up.

Germany’s consumer revival is reflected in the survey, which had recorded negative retailing figures until an acute lift in confidence since July. On Tuesday the German economy received a boost from a similar measure of economic activity, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) which rose sharply in November.

German GDP growth for the third quarter of the year had earlier been confirmed at 0.7 per cent.

The positive figures for November offer some relief for German manufacturers, after the EU revealed that new manufacturing orders from the Eurozone fell by 3.8 per cent in September.

However, the Eurozone’s woes are not all bad news for Germany, according to Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics. The drop in the euro has actually helped manufacturing in “export-reliant Germany”, she said.