To the surprise of many economists, German business sentiment rose in September, hitting its highest since June 2007.
The Ifo think-tank’s business climate index was up for the fourth consecutive month.
The retail component improved, which analysts said gave hope that German consumers might compensate for a slowdown in exports.
Ifo’s President Hans-Werner Sinn, was upbeat. He said: “There is a global economic recovery. Germany, as an export nation, is one of the first to take advantage of that – as we were the first to suffer from the downturn. We benefit from strong demand in emerging markets. And now we have strong domestic demand, as the banks are investing at home rather than overseas.”
In another indicator of recovery, lorry sales in Germany rose by 54 percent last month.
Those figures were announced as the truck and bus industry’s biggest event, the Hanover Truck Show opened.
Throughout Europe lorry sales were up 10 percent in August. But for the year so far, they were still down 35 percent on pre-crisis levels.
Daimler, the world’s biggest truckmaker, said this week vehicle orders surged 65 percent in the first eight months of the year thanks to explosive demand in emerging markets such as China, Indonesia and Latin America.