German company executives expect 2014 to become a sunny year for their business operations, according to the latest monthly confidence survey by the Ifo think tank. Its January index rose more than expected.
The Munich-based Ifo economic research institute said its closely-watched business confidence index climbed to 110.6 points in January, up from 109.5 points in the previous months.
Germany's most important mood-gauging barometer thus climbed to its highest level in about two and half years, indicating that Europe's largest economy was on track for a strong start to 2014 after growing only modestly last year.
The figures were based on a poll of 7,000 executives, representing a large number of industries.
Leaving the eurozone crisis behind
"Expectations haven't been as high for almost three years," Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn remarked. "The German business community looks to the future with a lot of confidence."
October 2013 saw the last marginal drop in confidence among executives representing Europe's biggest economy. But pundits would only have spoken of a trend reversal, had there been three monthly falls in a row.
Ifo calculated its headline index on the basis of companies' assessments of their current business and the outlook for the next six months. The sub-index measuring current business rose to 112.4 points in January from 111.6 points in December, while the outlook sub-index climbed to 108.9 points from 107.4 points a month earlier.
hg/kms (Reuters, dpa)