German businesses upbeat despite bank woes, British EU exit

FRANKFURT – German businesses were more optimistic in October, shrugging off woes at the countries’ biggest banks and the implications of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

The closely watched Ifo institute index rose to 110.5 points from 109.5 points in September.

Ifo head Clemens Fuest said in a statement Tuesday that “the upturn in the German economy is gathering impetus.”

Germany, the largest of the 19 countries that use the euro, enjoys moderate growth and very low unemployment of 4.2 per cent. Export strength has been supported more recently by domestic consumer demand. The economy grew by a quarterly rate of 0.4 per cent in the second quarter.

The Munich-based Ifo bases the index on survey responses from 7,000 firms in manufacturing, retail, wholesaling and construction.