German business confidence fell slightly in December, but still remains at high levels, reflecting the ongoing resilience of Europe's biggest economy in the face of numerous challenges, the Ifo economic institute said on Thursday.
The Ifo institute's closely-watched business climate index slipped to 108.7 points in December from 109.0 points in November, Ifo said in a statement, a fractionally steeper drop than analysts had been expecting.
Ifo calculates its headline index on the basis of companies' assessments of the current business environment and the outlook for the next six months.
The sub-index measuring current business fell by 0.6 point to 112.8 points, while the outlook sub-index was unchanged at 104.7 points, the institute said.
"Sentiment in the German economy weakened slightly this month. Assessments of the current business situation declined, but optimism about future business developments remained unchanged," said Ifo president Hans-Werner Sinn.
Nevertheless, all three readings -- the headline index and the two sub-indices -- "are around three points above the respective levels seen in December 2014. The economic situation could hardly be better in the run-up to Christmas," Sinn said.