By Maria Martinez
German business sentiment unexpectedly improved in February, the Ifo Institute said Monday, although analysts had forecast a slight decline driven by coronavirus fears.
The Ifo business-climate index came in at 96.1 points in February, rising from an upwardly revised 96.0 in January, the institute said. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast it at 95.3 points.
"The German economy seems unaffected by developments surrounding the coronavirus," Ifo's President Clemens Fuest said.
However, the assessment of the current situation fell to 98.9 points from an upwardly revised 99.2 in January, while expectations rose to 93.4 points in February from 92.9 points in January, the institute said. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecast figures of 99.1 and 92.1 points, respectively.
The closely watched manufacturing sector rose for the third consecutive month, driven by less pessimistic expectations, the institute said.
In the services sector, the indicator fell again in February as service providers felt less satisfied with their current situation, Ifo said.
The survey results and other indicators suggest German economic growth in the first quarter will amount to 0.2%, Ifo said.
The index is based on a poll of about 9,000 companies in manufacturing, services, trade and construction.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 24, 2020 04:35 ET (09:35 GMT)
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