German businesses are gloomier this month. A regular survey of some 7,000 firms in Europe’s largest economy showed morale unexpectedly dropped.
It was previously at its highest level in almost three years.
The United States is Germany’s most important single export destination and President Donald Trump’s protectionist comments have unsettled German politicians and business leaders.
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But economist Klaus Wohlrabe at the Ifo research institution, which carried out the surveys, said the weaker morale does not seem to be linked to the new man in the White House: “So far Donald Trump has had no effect on the current surveys, which surprised us because his remarks would indicate not such a good mood, or sentiment suffering in the German export industry. But surprisingly, export expectations rose, and for now, that sentiment is still very optimistic. But of course nothing concrete has been decided so far.”
Others were not so sure. Dekabank economist Andreas Scheuerle said: “It did not even take a week for US President Trump to put a dampener on the mood of German companies.”