News Summary: German business optimism drops
FADING HOPES: Business optimism in Germany fell for the fifth month in a row, a closely-watched survey showed Monday, in another sign that Europe's debt crisis is weighing on the continent's largest economy.
THE DETAILS: The Ifo index dipped to 101.4 in September from 102.3 in August. The index, based on a survey of 7,000 businesses, is what economists call a leading indicator — providing clues to where the economy is headed.
THE BACKGROUND: Germany's government is in relatively good financial shape and its economy has performed strongly over the past couple of years compared to the other 17 countries that use the euro as their currency. But 43 percent of Germany's exports go to its euro partners and the troubles in the currency zone are worrying businesses and consumers.