Fear of US trade sanctions grows among German managers

BERLIN _ A closely-watched survey of business confidence in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, dropped in January as managers worried about the uncertainty associated with the advent of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The Ifo index released Wednesday fell to 109.8 points in January from 111 points in December, as companies’ greater satisfaction with their current situation was offset by a drop in their expectations.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski noted that 10 per cent of German exports go to the U.S., helping make it Germany’s single most important trade partner, and businesses are “getting increasingly concerned about the possible impact from U.S. President Trump’s suggested trade sanctions.”

He said the British pound’s steep decline and Brexit uncertainty are contributing to fears.

The survey’s based on 7,000 responses from firms across sectors.