By Michael Nienaber and Leigh Thomas
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – Business morale in Germany and France improved for the fifth month in a row in September, boosting hopes that the euro zone’s two biggest economies had enjoyed a solid recovery from the coronavirus shock suffered in the first half of the year.
The surveys, published on Thursday by Germany’s Ifo institute and France’s statistics office, suggested that both countries are set for strong growth in the third quarter, though the outlook is clouded by rising infections and new restrictions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ifo institute said its business climate index rose to 93.4 from a downwardly revised 92.5 in August. That was the highest reading since February, when the index stood at 95.9.
“The German economy is stabilizing despite rising infection numbers,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said.
The German economy contracted by 9.7% in the second