Thursday, 24 September 2009

September 2009: Ifo Business Climate Index Slightly Improved Again

The Ifo Business Climate for industry and trade in Germany has brightened further in September. Appraisals of the business situation and outlook have improved. However, by far the greater number of firms still assesses the business situation as poor. Only with regard to the six-month business outlook is there now nearly a balance between pessimists and optimists. In light of the catastrophic developments over the past twelve months, this is good news.

In manufacturing the business climate indicator has recovered somewhat. The manufacturing firms no longer regard their present business conditions quite so negatively as in the previous month. They also anticipate a somewhat more favourable course of business in the coming half year. With regard to exports, their scepticism has subsided. However, more firms are now planning to reduce the number of their employees.

In wholesaling and in retailing the business climate index has risen. In both distribution sectors, the survey participants are less critical regarding business developments in the coming half year. However, the wholesalers are nearly just as dissatisfied with their current business situation as in the previous month. In contrast, retailers have given slightly more favourable appraisals of their present business situation than in August, assessing it now as nearly satisfactory.

In construction the business climate has clouded over somewhat. Although the survey participants have assessed their present business similarly to that in August, with regard to business in the coming half year they are more sceptical than in the previous survey.

Hans-Werner Sinn
President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich

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