German business confidence drops in June

AP News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2015 4:38 AM

BERLIN (AP) — German businesses are getting a little less confident as fears about a possible financial implosion in Greece continue to trouble executives, a closely-watched survey shows.

The Ifo Institute said Wednesday that its Business Climate Index for Europe's largest economy fell to 107.4 points for June from 108.5 points the month before. The decline was bigger than expected — economists had forecast a drop to 108.1.

James Howat, European economist at Capital Economics in London, said the data suggest "that worries about Greece may be weighing on the eurozone's largest economy."

Another recent confidence survey, by the ZEW institute, showed sentiment falling among investment analysts. Germany's economy remains in relatively good shape, with low unemployment. There are concerns that if Greece runs out of money it could trigger a default on its debts and a possible departure from the shared euro currency, a prospect that would bring uncertain consequences for the rest of the 19-country currency union.

Greek officials are in difficult negotiations with other eurozone governments over the conditions it must meet to unlock more bailout loans. The heavily indebted country has struggled with financial and economic difficulties for six years.

The survey of some 7,000 firms in the manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail sectors showed their assessment of their current situation worsening. The index measuring that dropped to 113.1 from 114.3 in May, greater than the drop to 114.1 predicted.

The index measuring expectations for the next six months also dropped to 102.0 from 103.0. Again that was greater than the forecast drop to 102.4.