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Advance results of the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) of 4th quarter 2012 (08 November 2012)

Ifo Economic Climate in Euro Area Continues to Deteriorate

The Ifo Economic Climate Indicator for the euro area continued to fall in the fourth quarter of 2012. While assessments of the current economic situation deteriorated only slightly, the six-month economic outlook was significantly more negative. Survey participants cited “public budget deficits” as the main reason for the difficult economic situation in the euro area. A lack of demand and high unemployment were ranked as the next most serious current economic problems in the euro area. There are no signs of an economic recovery on the horizon yet.

In Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus assessments of the current economic situation remain at recession level. WES experts also continued to assess the situation in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Slovenia as unfavourable. In Germany, the current economic situation was reportedly somewhat poorer than in the previous quarter, but remains satisfactory. The same can be said of Estonia and Slovakia. In Finland, on the other hand, assessments of the current economic situation veered from “satisfactory” to “unfavourable”.

The six-month economic outlook continued to deteriorate in most member countries compared to last quarter, and participants do not expect the current economic situation to improve on balance. Ireland, the Netherlands and Estonia are the only countries where expectations for the next six months are positive. 

Inflation estimates for 2012 in the euro area increased somewhat from 2.2% to 2.4% p.a. WES experts expect short-term interest rates to remain largely unchanged over the next six months, while long-term interest rates look set to rise only slightly. The majority of the experts surveyed expect the euro/US dollar exchange rate to remain largely stable over the next six months. 

Hans-Werner Sinn
President of the Ifo Institute

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Euro area (Index, base year: 2005 = 100)

Quarter/year IV/10 I/11 II/11 III/11 IV/11 I/12 II/12 III/12 IV/12
Climate 107.5 116.8 118.9 110.6 83.7 84.8 100.3 88.9 81.7
Situation 131.5 142.7 159.4 156.6 128.7 109.1 114.7 103.5 97.9
Expectations 93.4 101.6 95.1 83.6 57.4 70.5 91.8 80.3 72.1


The Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) investigates world-wide economic trends by polling transnational as well as national organisations in different countries. This allows for a rapid, up-to-date assessment of the economic situation prevailing around the world. The full set of results will be published on 15 November 2012.
The 4th quarter 2012 euro area results, which are published here in advance, are based on the responses of 270 economic experts. WES is conducted in co-operation with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.

Detailed Publication

  1. Plenk, Johanna, Gernot Nerb, Klaus Wohlrabe and Michael Kleemann, "CESifo World Economic Survey November 2012", CESifo World Economic Survey 11 (4), 2012, 1-28 | Details | PDF Download

  1. Nerb, Gernot and Johanna Plenk, "ifo Weltwirtschaftsklima bleibt eingetrübt", ifo Schnelldienst 65 (22), 2012, 19-30 | Details | PDF Download


Johanna Garnitz

Ifo Institute
Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys
Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1227
Fax: +49(0)89/907795-1227
Email: garnitz @

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