The German flag flys in the harbor in Hamburg, Germany.
The German flag flys in the harbor in Hamburg, Germany. - 
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Scott Jagow: There's very little good economic news anywhere this morning. Today, Japan said exports are down and corporate bankruptcies are up. Britain said retail is sour and home sales are at a 30-year low. Even China is seeing demand for just about everything wilt. Kyle James has this report from Germany on the situation there.

Kyle James: Germany is Europe's economic powerhouse. So when things start looking dire here, other European nations worry.

Today, a closely-watched report shows German investor sentiment has improved somewhat since last month. Even so, no one's popping open the champagne.

Sandra Schmidt, an economist who helped compile the report, says Germany is still in the dumps.

Sandra Schmidt: The uncertainty is very large, what might come, and in general, and there's also a higher risk aversion compared to the situation before. Banks do not trust in each other, so that's a very big problem at the moment. The mood is very bad.

And a slowing European economy can dent profits on the other side of the Atlantic. U.S. companies make almost one-half of their foreign sales in Europe.

In Berlin, I'm Kyle James for Marketplace.