Business confidence in Germany jumps

BERLIN: German business confidence surged to its highest level since October this month on hopes of a rebound in Europe’s biggest economy and an end to tough restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus.
The Munich-based Ifo institute said on Monday that despite the current lockdown, its closely watched business climate index jumped to a more-than-forecast 92.4 points this month from a revised January reading of 90.3.
“Companies are … starting to look beyond the pandemic and the lockdown,” said Commerzbank chief economist Joerg Kraemer.  Analysts had forecast a more modest gain in February to 90.5 from a previously estimated 90.1 in January.
The Ifo’s release came ahead of next week’s meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state premiers on what further steps to take in facing up to the crisis.  Powering the index higher were the executives’ bullish outlook for business conditions six months down the track, as well as a rise in their assessment of the current state of the nation’s economy.
Based on a survey of about 9,000 business leaders, the Ifo February gain was in line with solid rises in other leading indicators,despite concerns about the faltering rollout of anti-virus vaccines.
This includes the ZEW index measuring the mood among German investors as well as the IHS Markit’s latest composite purchasing managers’ index for the country’s service and manufacturing sectors. — dpa