Jul 25, 5:11 AM EDT

A closely watched index of German business optimism has declined in July following Britain's vote to leave the European Union

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BERLIN (AP) -- A closely watched index of German business optimism declined only slightly in July following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The Ifo institute's business climate index published Monday sunk to 108.3 points from 108.7 in June. The index combines the views of business executives on how things are now and on how they see the coming months.

Market analysts had expected a sharper decline in the mood in Europe's biggest economy.

Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING-DiBa in Frankfurt, said "German businesses do not seem to be extremely shocked by the British Brexit vote."

He noted that a sharper reaction might follow in the coming months, though, and "it is in our view too early to regard the Brexit-vote as a non-event for economic sentiment in Germany."

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