BERLIN (Reuters) – German business morale deteriorated for the third month in a row in June, a survey showed on Monday, adding weight to expectations that Europe’s largest economy contracted in the second quarter.
The Ifo institute said its business climate index fell to 97.4 from 97.9 in May. The June reading compared with a consensus forecast for 97.2.
“The German economy is heading for the doldrums,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said, adding that the business climate in both the manufacturing and services sectors had worsened.
The services sector has been providing impetus as manufacturing shrinks.
The Bundesbank said this month it expects the economy to contract slightly in the second quarter after an expansion of 0.4% between January and March.
After nine successive years of growth, Germany is struggling as its export-dependent manufacturers battle headwinds from trade disputes, Brexit uncertainties and a cooling world economy.
The economy has been relying on private consumption for growth, a cycle supported by a robust labour market, low interest rates and rising wages.
(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Michelle Martin and John Stonestreet)