BERLIN, June 25 (Xinhua) -- German business confidence declined in June as a further sign of slowing momentum in the eurozone's largest economy, according to the closely-watched Business Climate Index published by the Institute for Economic Research Ifo on Monday.
The Ifo index fell by 0.5 points to 101.8 points in June. Although managers polled by the Munich-based institute downgraded their assessment of the current business climate once again, however, they remained carefully-optimistic about their future prospects.
"The momentum of the German economy is flagging," a statement by Ifo president Clemens Fuest read. Growing gloom on companies' executive boards hereby extended to all of the economic sectors assessed in the study.
The findings were based on a survey of around 9,000 managerial staff at German companies active in the areas of industrial manufacturing, services, retail and construction. The monthly reading of the Business Climate Index in June marked the lowest level recorded by Ifo in over a year.
Speaking to Xinhua on Monday, Ifo expert Klaus Wohlrabe highlighted "increasing uncertainty due to global trade conflicts" as having made a significant contribution to the renewed fall in business confidence. "This is the seventh time in a row that export expectations are lower," Wohlrabe said.
At the same time, Wohlrabe expressed confidence that the German consumer industry would continue to function as a "pillar of growth". Strong domestic demand, underpinned by rising wages, indicated that Germany was likely to witness another, albeit more modest, expansion of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.
Ifo has recently lowered its GDP growth forecast for 2018 substantially from 2.6 percent to 1.8 percent. The institute also revised its growth outlook for 2019 down from 2.1 percent to 1.8 percent.