German business confidence rose for the fourth month in a row in February, data showed today, as the outlook for Germany with Europe's biggest economy continues to hold up.

The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index climbed to 111.3 points this month, the highest level since July 2011. In January, the index had stood at 110.6 points.

"The German economy is holding its own in a changeable global climate," Ifo chief Hans-Werner Sinn said in a statement.

Ifo calculates its headline index on the basis of companies' assessments of their current business and the outlook for the next six months.

The sub-index measuring current business rose to 114.4 points in February from 112.4 points in January, while the outlook sub-index slipped to 108.3 points from 108.9 points. 

Nevertheless, "expectations regarding future business developments ... remain optimistic," Sinn insisted. 

Last week, the ZEW barometer of investor sentiment slipped slightly as uncertainty about the US and emerging economies came to the fore, but analysts believe the German recovery remains intact.