The German economy is heading for recession, the Ifo institute said on Monday, as it reported a drop in business morale not seen since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ifo institute said its business climate index fell to 84.3, posting a more severe drop than the 87.0 forecast by economists according to a Reuters poll.

The reading for August was revised upward slightly, from 88.5 to 88.6.

The business climate index reached its lowest level in September since May 2020, ifo said.

The downturn was visible across all four sectors of the German economy, according to the institute, which said that pessimism had increased considerably looking ahead to the coming months.

(Reporting by Rachel More and Miranda Murray)