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Results of the October 2012 Ifo Business Survey

German Service Sector: Ifo Business Climate Indicator Drops Sharply

After last month’s recovery, the Ifo Business Climate Indicator for the German service sector dropped sharply in October. Although the firms surveyed expressed less optimism about their current business situation, the majority remains satisfied with it. For the first time since June 2009, however, most firms are slightly pessimistic about their business outlook. Employment plans in the sector nevertheless remain slightly expansionary.

Hans-Werner Sinn
President of the Ifo Institute

Ifo Business Climate in the Service Sector (Indices)

Image Ifo Business Climate in the Service Sector (Indices)

Time Series

German Services Sector (Balances, not seasonally adjusted)
Climate 17.4 15.1 19.6 22.3 24.9 22.4 22.4 24.8 21.3 15.7 12.7 14.1 9.1
Situation 34.0 29.0 34.0 31.0 32.0 28.0 30.0 34.0 30.0 27.0 24.0 28.0 23.0
Expectations 2.0 2.0 6.0 14.0 18.0 17.0 15.0 16.0 13.0 5.0 2.0 1.0 -4.0
Source: Ifo Business Survey

Explanatory note

The Ifo Business Survey of the service sector is based on ca. 2,500 monthly survey responses from firms in key segments of the tertiary sector, especially business-oriented segments (excl. distribution, financial services, Leasing, insurance and government). The survey is conducted and calculated in the same way as the Ifo Business Survey of industry and trade. In comparing the various curves of the Business Climate indicator, it is important to remember that, for methodological reasons, the results of the Business Survey of the service sector are not yet seasonally adjusted. The indicator for the Business Climate in the service sector has not yet been incorporated into the Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade.


Dr. Klaus Wohlrabe

Ifo Institute
Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys
Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1229
Fax: +49(0)89/9224-1463
Email: wohlrabe @

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