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Economy in Brief

Germany's DIHK Survey Points to Slowdown
by Robert Brusca October 10, 2007

Survey backs off and points to weaker conditions ahead…

The German chamber of commerce survey (DIHK) is still strong, make no bones about that. But the survey is now off peak and clearly pointing to softer conditions ahead.Business expectations now sit at the lowest level among the respective percentiles of the components and that reading is still in the 83rdpercentile. The overall for economics conditions is in the 91stpercentile. The remaining indexes are all in their respective low 90s.

The chart on the left also looks at changes over one two and three years. (Survey reports three observations per year; plot on the chart is quarterly.) Economic conditions are up by 35 points over three years and 31 points over two years, so most of the rise has been in the last two years. In the current year the index is up by seven points compared to 31 points over two years. This is clear evidence that the rate of optimism is slowing down. The four point drop in the current quarter has not taken the year/year rise out of the series yet. The investment and hiring intention series show a similar slowing in the optimism in the past year after an outsized gain of the year before.

DIHK shows that while readings remain elevated, a slowing of some degree is in prospect.

DIHK-Balance of Economic Opinion
  Net Balance Readings Change Range Q4'91
  Q4-07 Q2-07 Q1-07 Yr Ago 2-Yr 3-Yr Percentile
Economic Conditions 31 35 36 7 31 35 91.9
Business Expectations 15 24 17 6 12 12 83.9
Export Expectations 39 38 42 4 7 4 95.2
Investment Intentions 13 16 13 6 19 24 93.5
Hiring Intentions 9 12 8 9 23 26 93.3
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