The confidence of Germany’s business sector this month rose for the first time since May, new figures from think-tank Ifo reveal.

Ifo’s closely watched barometer – based on a survey of 7,000 executives – stood at 87.4 in January, up marginally from December’s ten-month nadir of 87.3 but slightly below economists’ forecasts of 87.5. Assessments of both the current environment and prospects for the next six months improved.

However, Ifo head Hans-Werner Sinn is not counting any chickens. “Overall, it’s too early to conclude that the survey result signals a trend change,” he warned, adding that more interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank might be needed to give the German economy a lift.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff