Germany: survey shows new wave of business’ optimism

A survey of more than 21,000 companies, ranging from small retail shops to major corporations,by the German Chamber of Commerce found an upbeat assessment going into the summer and optimism much better than the last time they were polled in February.

The country's DIW economic research institute also said it expects growth to accelerate in the second half of 2006 because of more foreign demand and increased production.

The Berlin-based institute forecast second-quarter gross domestic product growth of 0.6 percent on the quarter, adjusted for seasonal effects and the number of working days. That was better than the 0.4 percent growth during the first quarter, the AP reports.

DIHK's report added that the business' outlook gave "reason for optimism, at least until the end of the year." It also said that, based on its previous surveys, companies appeared to be hiring again.

The agency did not say if the hiring was the result of the World Cup, which has created an estimated 50,000 temporary jobs through July 9. Unemployment in Germany has been high in the past several months, but dipped to 10.8 percent last month.