German economic outlook brighter for 3rd month post-shutdown

FRANKFURT, Germany — An important indicator of the German business outlook rose in July for the third month in a row as economic activity continues to pick up after many of the coronoavirus restrictions were eased or lifted.

The Ifo institute’s index rose to 90.5 points from 86.3 points in June, the Munich-based organization said today. “The German economy is recovering step by step,” Ifo head Clemens Fuest said in a statement.

Signs of economic revival have been increasing since the unprecedented shutdowns on business and public life. The Ifo survey is based on interviews with business executives across the German economy, Europe’s largest. Separately, the purchase managers’ index – a gauge of business activity measured by research firm IHS Markit – rose to 55.5 points in July, above the level of 50 that indicates economic expansion. It was the first 50-plus reading since February.

The recovery has a long way to go, with much international air traffic shut down and firms generally working below capacity.