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German business confidence dips in September

BERLIN (AP) — A closely watched survey shows that German business confidence sank again in September, but only modestly as companies reported good conditions now but expressed worry about the future amid financial turmoil from Europe’s debt crisis.

The Ifo institute said Monday its monthly confidence index was down to 107.5 points from 108.7 in August. That showing was better than market analysts predicted, and not as large as the drop in the previous month.

Still, the index shows that momentum in Europe’s biggest economy is slowing, as executives’ expectations for the next six months darkened.

The results presented a mixed picture with businesses reporting things were better at the moment in wholesale and retail trade. But the part of the survey that measures what managers think about the future was significantly more downbeat, and the view of both the present and the future was worse in manufacturing, a key driver of the German economy.

“The business expectations for the coming half year once more deteriorated markedly,” institute President Hand-Werner Sinn said in a statement. “The current business situation, however, was assessed just as positively as in the previous month.”

The German economy barely grew in the second quarter. Mounting fears about the eurozone’s debt crisis and another recession in the U.S. also have been weighing on companies’ outlooks.

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