After the recovery in March, business sentiment in the German economy fell again in April. According to the survey by the ifo-Institut, both the assessment of the current business situation and business expectations for the coming months have dimmed further in the current month.
This is disappointing. The key factor at play is that the weakness in industry has persisted and has actually worsened in April. In export-oriented manufacturing, sentiment has now fallen to a level last seen quite a few years ago. The stability in the service sector and the boom in construction have not sufficed to offset this.
Meanwhile, in recent weeks a little economic optimism has blossomed in the financial markets, something that German companies have not however borne out. To date, progress in the US-China trade talks and the growth buds in China remain a spring-like shimmer of hope, but one in which German industrial corporations do not seem to really trust.