Germany's Ifo Business Confidence Improves In August

German, U.S. companies concerned despite EU trade truce with Trump: survey

German, U.S. companies concerned despite EU trade truce with Trump: survey

The prospect of a de-escalation in the ongoing trade conflict between the United States and European Union (EU) has propelled German business confidence to its highest level in half a year, a study published on Monday by the Institute for Economic Research (Ifo) finds. This happened after a preliminary agreement between Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, which led to weakening concerns about the escalating global trade war, or at least in its part, affecting Europe.

The business climate index is seen rising to 101.8 in August from 101.7 a month ago. The August reading beat a Reuters consensus forecast of 101.9.

Ifo had previously forecast 2018 growth of 1.8 percent. The companies were once again more satisfied with their current business situation. The trend held for firms across the retail-, industrial manufacturing-, service- and construction sectors considered in the Business Climate Index and thus marked the end of a series of six consecutive months of decline in confidence for industrial manufacturers.

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"Probably not only the warm summer weather but rather (temporary) relief of trade tensions and sound economic fundamentals have lightened up German business sentiment".

August's IHS Markit sentiment survey among purchasing managers also showed the private sector shifting into a higher gear, helped by strong services activity. "We expect full-year economic growth of 1.8 or even 1.9 percent", he said. That would match the 0.5 percent figure from the first quarter.

The economy was set to continue its balancing act between the favorable effects of the European Central Bank's loose monetary policy and a lack of new structural reforms as well as between solid domestic demand and trade frictions, Brzeski said.

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