German business confidence drops to 6-year low

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BERLIN (AP) — A survey is showing a sharper-than-expected fall in German business confidence, which dropped to a six-year low as managers’ view of both their current situation and future prospects worsened.

The Ifo institute said Thursday that its monthly confidence index dropped to 95.7 points in July from 97.5 last month. Economists had expected a more modest decline to 97.2.

It was the fourth consecutive monthly decline in the index and the lowest figure since April 2013. Germany has Europe’s biggest economy.

The survey is based on responses from some 9,000 firms. German growth forecasts have been cut repeatedly in recent months and Ifo said that business confidence in the manufacturing sector in particular was “in free fall” in July.

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