German business confidence dropped to the lowest in more than a quarter century in December as the credit crisis pushes Europeâs largest economy deeper into a recession. The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, fell to 82.6 from 85.8 in the previous month. Thatâs the lowest reading for Ifoâs main index since November 1982. Economists expected a drop to 84, the median of 39 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey shows. Germanyâs economy is on course for its worst contraction since 1993 next year as a global slowdown saps export demand, forcing companies to curb spending and hiring. Daimler AG, the worldâs biggest maker of heavy trucks, said the recession may be âdeepâ and the European Central Bank this month cut its key interest rate by the most on record to stem the slump. âThereâs no way out of the situation over the coming quarters,â said Laurent Bilke, an economist at Nomura International Plc in London. âThe ECB will certainly cut interest rates further.â This monthâs reading is the lowest since data for a reunified Germany was first compiled in 1991. A subindex measuring executivesâ assessment of current conditions fell to 88.8 from 94.9 in December. A gauge of expectations slipped to 76.8 from 77.6. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aZdAkpdiFkF4&refer=home ECB remains "vigilant" !