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Results of the December 2012 Ifo Business Survey

Ifo Business Climate Improves

The Ifo Business Climate Index for German industry and trade rose again. While companies as-sessed their current business situation as somewhat less favourable than last month, they were considerably less pessimistic about future business developments. As the year draws to a close, German companies are more confident about the future.

In manufacturing the business climate continued to brighten. Companies assessed their current business situation slightly less favourably than last month, but they are far more optimistic about the future than previously. Business expectations showed their sharpest increase since August 2009. Export expectations also continued to improve.

The business climate indicator weakened at both levels of trade. In both wholesaling and retailing survey participants were less satisfied with their current business situation and somewhat more sceptical about future developments.

In construction the business climate index continued to rise in December. While companies were more cautious in their assessments of the current business situation, they were far more optimistic about the next six months.

Hans-Werner Sinn
President of the Ifo Institute

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

  1. "ifo Konjunkturperspektiven 12/2012", ifo Institut, München, 2012 | Details | Download

Summary of the Results

  1. ifo Konjunkturtest Dezember 2012 in Kürze | Jan 22, 2013 | 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)
 12/1101/1202/1203/1204/1205/1206/1207/1208/1209/1210/1211/1212/12
Climate 107.3 108.3 109.6 109.7 109.7 106.7 105.1 103.2 102.3 101.4 100.0 101.4 102.4
Situation 116.8 116.3 117.4 117.3 117.4 113.1 113.8 111.5 111.1 110.2 107.2 108.1 107.1
Expectations 98.6 100.9 102.3 102.6 102.6 100.7 97.2 95.5 94.2 93.2 93.2 95.2 97.9
Source: Ifo Business Survey

Ifo Business Climate Germany (Balances, seasonally adjusted)
 12/1101/1202/1203/1204/1205/1206/1207/1208/1209/1210/1211/1212/12
Trade and Industry 7.2 9.2 11.7 11.9 11.9 6.1 3.0 -0.8 -2.5 -4.3 -7.0 -4.1 -2.3
Manufacturing 9.1 13.5 14.3 13.9 15.1 10.3 4.7 -2.1 -1.3 -4.3 -7.2 -6.5 -3.1
Construction -6.3 -3.6 3.4 2.1 -4.0 -5.3 -4.7 -6.7 -7.0 -10.1 -11.8 -7.5 -6.7
Wholesaling 11.2 10.5 14.9 12.7 12.5 7.8 4.8 3.8 -2.2 0.0 -3.2 5.0 3.7
Retailing 5.6 -0.4 3.6 10.5 10.5 -3.8 0.2 5.0 -4.8 -4.1 -5.8 -0.5 -1.4
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.