German firms gain credit access

■ Credit constraints continued to be the main factor dragging down German industry in April, Ifo revealed yesterday, in a positive sign for the resilient economy. Only 19.5 per cent of the companies surveyed reported a restrictive credit policy on the part of banks. That represents a 0.8 percentage point fall on the March figure. “Favourable refinancing opportunities continue to represent a positive economic development in Germany,” Ifo said. In manufacturing, 17.2 per cent of large firms felt constrained by access to credit, while only 16.5 per cent of medium-sized companies did. Among small firms, the figure stood at 20.8 per cent. In the construction sector, credit constraints fell 1.6 percentage points to 26 per cent.