German business climate index drops to record low

The Ifo Business Climate Index fell to 86.1 points in March, after 96.0 points (seasonally adjusted) in February. This is the strongest decline ever recorded in reunified Germany and the lowest since July 2009. In particular, companies’ expectations of future business activity deteriorated immensely. The assessments of the current situation have also dropped significantly.

In manufacturing, the index fell – across all branches of industry – to the lowest overall level since August 2009. The decline in expectations is historically unique with a view to 70 years of industry surveys, reports the institute. The indicator of the current situation fell less sharply. Many companies have announced production cuts.

In the construction sector, the index fell comparatively moderately. The construction companies are still very satisfied with their current situation. However, the outlook has deteriorated significantly.

The business climate indicator has slumped in trade. Expectations plummeted to their lowest level since reunification. The companies also assessed the current situation noticeably less well.

In the service sector, the business climate indicator has fallen more than ever since records began in 2005. This applies both to the assessment of the business situation and expectations.

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