Virus wave, lack of parts hold back German business optimism


FRANKFURT, Germany — A closely watched indicator of German business outlooks barely rose in April as the third wave of coronavirus infections held back optimism about the pace of post-pandemic recovery.

The Ifo index published Monday crept up to 96.8 points from 96.6 points for March as companies viewed current conditions as better but expressed less optimism about the coming six months.

Germany, along with the rest of Europe, is going through a renewed battle with higher levels of infections as a variant that spreads more easily has become the dominant strain. More than 5,000 people are in intensive care with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The Munich-based Ifo institute noted as a compounding factor that some 45% of industrial companies also reported bottlenecks among suppliers, the most since 1991. Auto companies have seen a lack of semi-conductors force them to hold back production.

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