[FRANKFURT] German business confidence fell to its lowest level in four months in June as the outlook for Europe's biggest economy clouds over, the Ifo economic institute said on Wednesday.
The Ifo institute's closely watched business climate index fell to 107.4 points in June from 108.5 points in May, the think tank said in a statement. That is the lowest level since February.
It was the second month in a row that the index has fallen and analysts had been expecting a much shallower decline.
"The outlook for the German economy is overcast," said Ifo president Hans-Werner Sinn.
"The indicator for the current business situation declined this month following three successive increases. Business expectations deteriorated for the third consecutive month and are now only slightly optimistic," he said.
Ifo calculates its headline index on the basis of companies' assessments of the current business environment and the outlook for the next six months.
The sub-index measuring current business fell to 113.1 points, while the outlook sub-index slipped by one whole point to 102.0 points, the institute said.