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German business morale ticks up again

German business confidence rose for the third month in a row in July, a key survey said Monday, as Europe’s top economy bounced back from coronavirus lockdowns.

The Ifo institute’s monthly barometer rose to 90.5 points, up from 86.3 in June, beating analyst expectations.
“The German economy is recovering step by step,” Ifo president Clemens Fuest said.

The index plunged to a record low in April when Germany’s coronavirus containment measures closed factories and shops, before starting a rebound in May as economic activity gradually resumed.

The Ifo index, based on a survey of 9,000 firms, found that companies were both more satisfied with their current situation and more optimistic about the future this month.

The mood was especially improved among retailers and service providers as consumers returned to restaurants, shops and tourist sites.

Germany has fared relatively well in the coronavirus pandemic compared to many of its neighbours, but concerns are growing that holidaymakers returning from abroad could fuel a second wave of infections.

“It is too early to give the all-clear,” said KfW chief economist Fritzi Koehler-Geib.
“The pre-crisis level will remain a long way off for the foreseeable future, and the continuing fierce rage of the pandemic in large parts of the world is an enormous risk for Germany as an export nation.”