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Wednesday, 21 November, 2001, 14:24 GMT
Pessimism worsens among German firms
Hopes of a rapid recovery for the German economy have been dashed with news that industrial confidence has fallen to an eight-year low.
The well-regarded monthly Ifo survey of business confidence eased to an index level of 84.7 last month, from 85.0 in September.
The drop, while small, had been little expected by economists following a particularly notable decline in optimism in September.
And it suggested that business conditions will get tougher yet, analysts said.
"The continued decline... shows that we haven't reached the lowest point yet," said Christoph Ha