German business confidence rose for a ninth consecutive month in December as Europe's biggest economy recovered steadily from its worst recession in decades, a leading survey showed Friday.
The IFO business climate index rose to 94.7 points in December, up from 93.9 points in November.
"After the dramatic economic collapse last winter, these survey results should bring some Christmas cheer," said IFO president Hans-Werner Sinn.
The Munich-based group said the climate in the manufacturing sector improved over the previous month, though the businesses were still "somewhat more reserved" about their expectations for the coming six months.
The wholesaling and retailing sectors also improved, while the climate in the construction sector brightened slightly, the study showed.
The IFO index is based around 7,000 monthly survey responses from firms in manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and retailing.
Overall, they assessed their current situation as slightly better, pushing the index to 90.5 points from 89.1 points the previous month. Their expectations for the next six months rose to 99.1 from 98.9 in November.
Germany's economy returned to modest growth in this year's second quarter. The government has forecast it will grow by 1.2 percent next year after contracting by 5 percent in 2009.
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