BERLIN, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The economic expectations for the third quarter of 2018 in the euro area is expected to drop to the lowest level since the end of 2012, German economic institute Ifo said on Thursday in a forecast report.
According to the report, the Ifo Economic Climate for the euro area fell notably from 31.1 balance points last quarter to 19.6 balance points.
Among them, the index points of economic expectations dropped from 13.8 balance points last quarter to -0.1 balance points in the third quarter of this year.
"This signals an economic slowdown in the euro area," Ifo President Clemens Fuest stated in the report, based on the responses of 367 economic experts.
The economic climate deteriorated to varying degrees in euro area's five biggest economies including Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
In addition, the surveyed experts expect investment to stagnate for the first time since the end of 2012. Meanwhile, they also forecast an annual inflation rate of 1.7 percent for 2018, 0.1 percent point higher than last year.
"The current debate over tariffs and protectionism led to a clear deterioration in export expectations," the report read.
Since 1981 the Ifo Institute has conducted a quarterly survey in numerous countries on business cycle developments and other economic factors.