Frankfurt, Germany • German business confidence dropped more than economists predicted to the lowest level since October as weaker growth and escalating tensions in Ukraine weigh on the outlook for Europe's largest economy.
The Ifo institute's business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, fell to 108 from 109.7 in June, marking the third straight monthly decline. Economists predicted a reading of 109.4, according to the median of 35 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
Today's report follows a series of weak economic data for Germany that included industrial production dropping for a third month in May, factory orders falling more than economists expected and retail sales decreasing for a second month. Gross domestic product may have remained unchanged in the second quarter from the previous one, when it rose 0.8 percent, the Bundesbank said this week, and political uncertainty in some of the country's export markets may damp growth going forward.