German business confidence unexpectedly rose slightly in January from a two-year low. The Munich-based Ifo research institute said its business- climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 103.4 from 103 in December. Some newspapers seem to be making rather a lot out of this, but if you look at the chart the change is, as I say, a slight one, and compared to early 2007 we are still at very low levels. So I think it is more a case of putting a brave face on things.
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