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Results of the September 2012 Ifo Business Survey

Ifo Business Climate Index Continues to Fall

The Ifo Business Climate Index for German industry and trade continued to fall in September, marking its fifth successive decline. The companies surveyed are again less satisfied with their current business situation. They also expressed greater pessimism about the future. The curbing forces on the German economy continue to prevail.

After recovering briefly last month, the business climate in manufacturing continued to cool significantly in September. Although survey participants were more cautious in their assessment of the current business situation, it remained clearly above the long-term average value. Expectations concerning the six-month business outlook remained clearly negative and dropped for the fifth month in succession. In terms of the outlook for exports, last month’s slightly negative trend continued.

The business climate recovered at both levels of trade. Companies in retailing reported an improved business situation, while their expectations were only marginally more pessimistic. The same, but even more pronounced trends were seen in wholesaling. The wholesalers surveyed are far more satisfied with their current business situation than last month, but the six-month business outlook continued to cloud over.

In construction the business climate indicator fell again. Assessments of the current business situation are less positive than last month. Moreover, the construction companies surveyed are more pessimistic about their six-month business outlook.

Hans-Werner Sinn
President of the Ifo Institute

Results of the Ifo Business Survey in Germany in all details (in German)

  1. "ifo Konjunkturperspektiven 09/2012", ifo Institut, München, 2012 | Details | Download

Summary of the Results

  1. ifo Konjunkturtest September 2012 in Kürze | Oct 2, 2012 | Information service | Details

Ifo Business Climate Germany (Index)

Image Ifo Business Climate Germany (Index)

Business Situation and Expectations by Sector (Balances)

Image Business Situation and Expectations by Sector (Balances)

Ifo Business-Cycle Clock

Image Ifo Business-Cycle Clock

Time series


Ifo Business Climate Germany (Index, 2005 = 100, seasonally adjusted)
 09/1110/1111/1112/1101/1202/1203/1204/1205/1206/1207/1208/1209/12
Climate 107.6 106.6 106.8 107.3 108.3 109.6 109.7 109.7 106.8 105.2 103.2 102.3 101.4
Situation 118.1 116.8 116.7 116.7 116.3 117.4 117.4 117.4 113.2 113.8 111.5 111.1 110.3
Expectations 98.1 97.2 97.7 98.7 100.9 102.3 102.6 102.6 100.7 97.2 95.5 94.2 93.2
Source: Ifo Business Survey

Ifo Business Climate Germany (Balances, seasonally adjusted)
 09/1110/1111/1112/1101/1202/1203/1204/1205/1206/1207/1208/1209/12
Trade and Industry 7.8 5.8 6.2 7.2 9.1 11.6 11.9 11.9 6.1 3.1 -0.7 -2.5 -4.3
Manufacturing 10.9 9.9 9.1 9.2 13.4 14.3 13.9 15.2 10.3 4.7 -2.0 -1.3 -4.2
Construction -9.5 -13.1 -8.7 -6.2 -3.6 3.3 2.1 -4.0 -5.3 -4.7 -6.7 -7.0 -10.1
Wholesaling 13.2 6.8 10.2 11.3 10.6 14.9 12.7 12.5 7.8 4.9 3.8 -2.1 0.0
Retailing 3.1 2.4 1.6 5.7 -0.4 3.7 10.5 10.6 -3.8 0.2 5.0 -4.7 -4.0
Source: Ifo Business Survey

Explanatory note

The Ifo Business Climate Index is based on ca. 7,000 monthly survey responses from firms in manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and retailing. The firms are asked to give their assessments of the current business situation and their expectations for the next six months. They can characterise their situation as “good”, “satisfactory” or “poor” and their business expectations for the next six months as “more favourable”, “unchanged” or “more unfavourable”. The balance value of the current business situation is the difference between the percentages of the responses “good” and “poor”, the balance value of the expectations is the difference between the percentages of the responses “more favourable” and “more unfavourable”. The business climate is a transformed mean of the balances of the business situation and the expectations. For the purpose of calculating the index values, the transformed balances are all normalized to the average of the year 2005.