BERLIN -- The business environment for German automakers and their suppliers improved significantly in January, a survey published by the Ifo economic institute showed.
Ifo's indicator on the sector rose in January to 14.1 points from 3.4 points in December, with an expectations reading turning positive for the first time in five months.
"However, export expectations fell considerably," Oliver Falck, director of Ifo's Center for Industrial Organization and New Technologies, said in a statement on Friday.
Manufacturers rated their current business situation as significantly improved, with order backlogs at a high level.
"Automakers hope to be able to clear the backlog by expanding production in the coming months," Falck said.