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Financial News: German Ifo Business Sentiment Strengthens Unexpectedly

German Ifo Business Sentiment Strengthens Unexpectedly

01/25/2018 - 07:37:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Germany's business confidence improved unexpectedly in January as firms' assessment of current situation hit a record, survey data from the Ifo Institute showed Thursday.

At the same time, consumer confidence is set to strengthen in February on strong economic and income expectations, according to market research group GfK.

The Ifo business confidence index rose to 117.6 in January from 117.2 in December, the Munich-based Ifo institute reported.

The score was forecast to fall to 117.0. The reading rose back to the November level, which was the highest on record.

The German economy made a dynamic start to the year, Ifo President Clemens Fuest said.

The current conditions index came in at 127.7, which was above the forecast of 125.3 and December's 125.5.

Meanwhile, business expectations for the next six months were slightly scaled back, but remained at a high level. The corresponding gauge dropped to a 4-month low of 108.4 from 109.4 a month ago. The expected score was 109.3.

The survey results from Gfk showed that the forward-looking consumer sentiment index rose 0.2 points to 11.0 in February, while it was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.8.

With the second rise in a row, the consumer climate confirms the good start to the year and lays an excellent foundation for a successful consumer year in 2018, the GfK said.

Consumers' economic expectations climbed for the third straight month primarily driven by an excellent job market situation. The score advanced 9.2 points to 54.4 in January, the highest since February 2011.

The income expectations index gained 2.5 points to 56.8 in January. The strong performance of the economy is the linchpin of the current income optimism, GfK noted.

After two slight declines, the propensity to buy rose 3.3 points to 60.4 in January. The indicator climbed to a level it last exceeded in May 2015.

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