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BERLIN German business sentiment dropped sharply in October to its lowest in more than 2-1/2 years, the sixth consecutive fall dispelling any lingering doubt that Europe’s largest economy is now mired in the euro zone debt crisis. The Munich-based Ifo think tank said on Wednesday its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, fell to 100.0 in October from 101.4 in September. The surprise fall to 100.0 was bigger than even the lowest forecast in a survey of 45 economists, which had pointed to a slight rise to 101.5, with figures ranging from 100.4 to […]

BERLIN/DUESSELDORF Institutional investors led by U.S. energy transmission developer Anbaric Transmission are interested in pumping up to 4 billion euros ($ 5.2 billion) into linking German offshore wind farms with the mainland. Anbaric could act as an intermediary for potential European and U.S. investors willing to help finance up to four offshore network link projects of grid operator TenneT, an Anbaric spokesman said on Monday. “That would be a reasonable first package,” he said. A spokeswoman for TenneT TSO, the German arm of Dutch state-owned firm TenneT , said there had been “an exchange of information, but no more”. Anbaric […]

BERLIN Germany’s Finance Ministry is considering a debt buy-back as a possible way of reducing Greece’s huge debt pile which threatens to rise well above a target level of 120 percent of GDP by 2020, according to German news magazine Spiegel. The Greek government could borrow money from the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund and use this to buy back its own debt, which at present trades at around 25 percent of its face value. Buying just 10 million euros worth of Greek bonds could reduce the debt mountain by 40 million, Spiegel said. Talks would have to take place […]

BERLIN European Central Bank policymaker Klaas Knot has thrown his support behind German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s call for a euro zone commissioner with power over European Union nations’ budgets. The EU needs not only stricter budget discipline but also stronger debt controls, Knot, who heads the Dutch Central Bank, told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday. “I welcome the idea … if we can manage to keep a better eye on these aims it would represent huge progress. It is worth thinking about Wolfgang Schaeuble’s idea carefully.” Asked about ECB plans to buy the […]

BERLIN Spain must decide whether it will tap funds from the euro zone’s new bailout facility and should not look to Germany for guidance, a senior German official said on Wednesday ahead of an EU summit where Spain’s woes will be on the agenda. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Spain was on the right course with its reforms and reiterated Berlin’s support for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s center-right government. “It is up to Spain to decide whether it wants to seek support,” the official said. “It is not Germany’s role to give Spain a red or green […]

ROME German banks created Europe’s debt crisis and the cuts demanded of Italy are driving the economy deeper into recession, the economic chief of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party said on Friday. Renato Brunetta, a leading voice on Italy’s centre-right, also said an exit from the euro could not be ruled out if Rome were forced to remain on its rigid diet of budget austerity – a line often taken by Berlusconi and his allies but one on which they have shown no sign of acting. With an election due by April at the latest, the comments by Brunetta, […]

BERLIN Germany’s leading economic institutes have cut their growth forecasts for Europe’s largest economy to 0.8 percent this year and to 1.0 percent in 2013, the business daily Handelsblatt said on Wednesday. These figures compare with the institutes’ previous spring forecasts of 0.9 percent growth for 2012 and 2.0 percent for 2013. The four institutes are due to announce their revised growth forecasts on Thursday. Citing confidential sources, the newspaper also said the institutes expect the euro zone to overcome its sovereign debt crisis next year and that German unemployment will continue to fall. Other institutes and the International Monetary […]

BERLIN German industrial output edged down in August due to a weaker construction sector, Economy Ministry data showed on Monday, suggesting that Europe’s largest economy is weathering the euro zone crisis relatively well. Industrial production in Germany slipped by 0.5 percent on the month in August. That compared with the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of 42 economists for a 0.8 percent drop. Activity in the construction sector fell by 2.8 percent and factories churned out 1.3 percent fewer intermediate goods, dragging overall output down. Energy output, which rose by 1.5 percent, was the main bright spot. “The trend […]

FRANKFURT Mobile phone maker Motorola achieved a rare victory against software giant Microsoft in a patent case before a German court on Friday, the latest in a wave of patent lawsuits by technology firms fighting over market share. The regional court in Mannheim ruled that Motorola Mobility, part of Google, did not infringe a Microsoft patent which enables applications to work on different handsets. This allows application developers to avoid writing separate codes for each handset saving time and development costs. Germany has become a major battleground in the global patent war between makers of mobile phones, tablet computer devices […]

BERLIN The International Monetary Fund will lower its forecasts for global economic growth to 3.3 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2013 from earlier forecasts of 3.4 percent and 3.9 percent respectively, a Germany newspaper reported on Friday. The IMF expects the euro zone economy to shrink by 0.4 percent this year and then grow 0.2 percent in 2013, business daily Handelsblatt said in a preview of the fund’s latest forecasts which are due to be released next week. Chinese growth for 2013 is seen at 8.2 percent, versus a previous IMF estimate of 8.4 percent, Indian growth is […]

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