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German business confidence tipped to slow

Analysis

German business confidence slowed again in December after a modest rise in November, a key survey to be released Wednesday is forecast to show, as growth in Europe’s biggest economy loses momentum.

Analysts predict the Munich-based ifo economic institute’s monthly index of 7,000 German executives will show business confidence edging down to 104 points this month on the back of the strong euro, high oil prices and the fallout from the global credit crunch. The ifo’s December monthly reading compared to 104.2 in November with the closely watched index having posted a surprise increase last month from 103.9 in October. Wednesday’s release of the ifo is expected to set the stage for the publication later in the week of surveys also pointing to a more pessimistic economic mood emerging across the 13-member.

Business confidence surveys to be released on Friday are predicted to show the sentiment among industry leaders in France and Italy, the eurozone’s second and third biggest economies, becoming somewhat more cautious this month. Moreover, business confidence in Belgium, often considered by economists as a bellwether of the eurozone economy, also slipped back in December, an indicator to be released Thursday is projected to show. (m&c.com)

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