German business confidence jumps to 2-year high (1st Lead)
Apr 23, 2010, 9:15 GMT
Berlin - The mood in German boardrooms has continued to brighten, as a key business climate survey released Friday jumped in April to its highest level in more than 2 years.
The Munich-based Ifo institute's closely watched business confidence index rose more than expected to 101.6 points this month, after hitting a 20-month high of 98.1 in March as a weak euro fueled export hopes.
Analysts had expected the indicator would edge up to 98.9 points this month.
The rise in the Ifo index is the latest sign that German industry leaders have laid aside worries about Greece's debt crisis and the possible business fallout from the shutdown of European airspace to focus on the prospects for an economic recovery.
Indeed, the further rise in the Ifo indicator in April is likely to add to hopes that Europe's biggest economy remains on track to emerge from what has been its deepest recession in a generation.
But also helping to bolster business expectations in Germany has been the steady fall of the euro, which has lost ground against the dollar on worries about Greece's financial plight and expectations that US economic growth will outpace Europe's expansion rate this year.