German business confidence has fallen to its lowest level for at least 18 years after a precipitous decline in industrial orders late last year, even as emergency government action to save Europe’s largest economy took effect.

The Munich-based Ifo institute said yesterday its closely watched business climate index slipped from 83.0 in January to 82.6 in February. That dashed hopes raised by a small rise last month and took the index to its lowest since records began in January 1991.

Financial Times