German companies remain confident, shrug off euro zone anxieties

BERLIN (AFP) - German business confidence rose for the third month in a row in July, data showed on Thursday, as companies in Europe's top economy appeared to shrug off euro zone fears.

The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index climbed to 106.2 points this month from 105.9 in June. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a more modest rise to 106 points.

"Assessments of the current business situation are more positive than last month," the think tank's economist Kai Carstensen said in a statement. "Although the six-month business outlook weakened slightly, firms remain cautiously optimistic with regard to their future business outlook."

Ifo calculates its headline index on the basis of companies' assessments of their current business and the outlook for the next six months. The sub-index measuring current business increased to 110.1 points in July from 109.4 points in June. But the outlook sub-index fell slightly to 102.4 from 102.5 points.