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Results of the March 2017 Ifo Business Survey

Ifo Business Climate Index for the Service Sector Continues to Fall

Sentiment in the service sector continued to weaken. The business climate index fell to 108.1 points in March from 108.6 points. In a repeat of last month’s developments service providers were more satisfied with their current business situation, but they expressed less confidence about their six-month business outlook. The expectations index fell to its lowest level since August 2014.

The pattern of a rising current situation index and falling expectations emerged in a large number of service segments. Fewer service providers expect any further improvement in their very good business situation. This is particularly true of architects and engineering firms. A positive exception to this rule are companies from the legal, tax consulting and auditing sector, which expect to see further growth in their turnover, despite the fact that their current business situation is already very good.  

Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest
President of the Ifo Institute


Time Series

German Service Sector (Balances, seasonally adjusted)
  03/16 04/16 05/16 06/16 07/16 08/16 09/16 10/16 11/16 12/16 01/17 02/17 03/17
Climate 107.1 109.7 108.2 109.4 109.1 110.1 111.2 111.2 112.5 110.9 109.5 108.6 108.1
Situation 112.7 117.1 115.0 116.9 114.0 114.8 115.8 115.6 118.5 116.2 114.8 115.0 116.6
Expectations 101.7 102.8 101.8 102.3 104.4 105.6 106.8 107.1 106.8 105.9 104.3 102.5 100.3
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. 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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