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German business sentiment rises

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German business sentiment rises

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More indications that Europe’s largest economy is pulling out of its deepest post-war recession as German business morale rose for the fourth month running.

In July, confidence in the business community hit its highest level since last October. The better than expected data came from the monthly survey of around 7,000 German firms carried out by the Munich-based Ifo think tank. Separate measures tracking businesses’ current conditions and their expectations also rose. Ifo economist Kai Carstensen explained: “Companies are experiencing a slight rise in orders compared with previous months and can therefore increase manufacturing a bit more. And that helps, even if they are still running below average capacity.” The Ifo survey showed the business climate improved in manufacturing, construction and the wholesale sector but not retail. And economists played down the idea of a swift and robust recovery in Germany pointing out that weak labour market conditions are likely to reduce consumption.