German Recovery Looks Remote As Confidence Continues To Wane

By Agence France-Presse Hopes for a recovery in the German economy, the biggest in the euro area, took another knock on Sept. 17 after a key confidence index fell again in September. The Center for European Economic Research's economic expectations index, which had already collapsed in August, fell an additional 3.9 points to plus 39.5 points in September. It was the third month in a row that the index had fallen and followed a drop of 25.7 points in August, the steepest decline in two years. "There is no sign of the economic upturn next year that people have been hoping for. Indeed, the likelihood of a renewed economic downturn has increased," said Wolfgang Franz, the Center's president. The indicator, which this month was based on a poll of 301 analysts and institutional investors, represents the balance between positive and negative expectations for the economy over the next six months. If the majority of analysts and institutional investors polled believe the economy will improve, the index shows a plus. If most are expecting a deterioration, the index shows a minus. An economist at HSBC Trinkaus und Burkhardt, Rainer Sartoris, said the number "confirms that the upturn will be longer coming than originally expected." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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