Confidence declines in Germany, France

German business confidence deteriorated again this month, the Ifo economic research institute said on Oct. 21, but the decline was not quite as steep as expected.

An employee of a French light bulbs firm works on halogen inserts designed for new technology light bulbs. The business confidence in the country falls in October. AFP photo.

An employee of a French light bulbs firm works on halogen inserts designed for new technology light bulbs. The business confidence in the country falls in October. AFP photo.

The monthly Ifo business climate index fell to 106.4 points in October from 107.4 points in September, while economists had been pencilling in a fractionally steeper decline to 106.3 points.

Nevertheless, the index is still at its lowest level since June 2010, when it also stood at 106.4 points.

French business confidence also fell slightly in October, France’s national research institute said, with business leaders expressing a more pessimistic outlook for the economy. The business climate index, based on a survey of business leader sentiment, fell to 97 points in October from 99 points in May.

The business climate in Germany “cooled further in October,” said Ifo chief Hans-Werner Sinn.

While survey participants assessed their current business situation “predominantly as favorable, they do not regard it quite as positively as in September,” Sinn said.

‘Economy still well’

And business expectations for the next six months “are noticeably more pessimistic than previously,” he noted. Nevertheless, overall “given the international turmoil, the German economy is still performing well,” Sinn added.

A sub-index that measures company assessments of their current situation slipped to 116.7 points from 117.9 points in September, while expectations for the six months to come dropped to 97 points from 97.9 points, hitting its lowest level since July 2009.

Friday, October 21, 2011
FRANKFURT / PARIS – Agence France-Presse