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Advance results of the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) of 1st quarter 2013 (06 February 2013)

Ifo Economic Climate in Euro Area Brightens

The Ifo Economic Climate Indicator for the euro area rose in the first quarter of 2013 after two successive decreases. Assessments of the current economic situation deteriorated slightly. Assessments of the six-month economic outlook, on the other hand, were largely positive and are now at the highest level for nearly two years. A silver lining to the current economic situation is emerging.

Compared to last quarter’s survey there are no major changes to assessments of the current economic situation in the euro crisis countries. In Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus WES experts continue to describe the current economic situation as ailing. The situation in Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands is reportedly little better. WES experts in Austria and Finland assessed the current economic situation as “unfavourable”. Germany and Estonia are the only countries in which the current economic situation was positively assessed by survey participants.

In all euro member states apart from Estonia, the six-month economic outlook brightened significantly. An overall improvement is expected in the euro area over the next six months with the exception of Cyprus, Finland, Portugal and Spain, where the expectations of WES experts are slightly better, but remain negative.

Inflation estimates for 2013 in the euro area are 2.1% p.a. and thus below estimates for 2012 (2.4%). 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 I/11 II/11 III/11 IV/11 I/12 II/12 III/12 IV/12 I/13
Climate 116.8 118.9 110.6 83.7 84.8 100.3 88.9 81.7 95.1
Situation 142.7 159.4 156.6 128.7 109.1 114.7 103.5 97.9 95.1
Expectations 101.6 95.1 83.6 57.4 70.5 91.8 80.3 72.1 95.1

Note

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 13 February 2013.
The 1st quarter 2013 euro area results, which are published here in advance, are based on the responses of 281 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 Tim Oliver Berg, "CESifo World Economic Survey February 2013", CESifo World Economic Survey 12 (1), 2013, 1-25 | Details | Download

  1. Nerb, Gernot and Johanna Plenk, "ifo Weltwirtschaftsklima verbessert", ifo Schnelldienst 66 (04), 2013, 44-54 | Details | Download