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German ZEW Investor Confidence Highest In A Year

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Germany's investor confidence rose sharply in March, reversing a steep fall in the previous month, to its highest level in a year, survey data from the ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research showed on Tuesday.

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany rose to -3.6 from -13.4 in February, the Mannheim-based think tank said. Economists had forecast the index to rise modestly to -11.

The latest reading was the highest since March last year, when the score was 5.1.

"The significant increase in the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment shows that major economic risks are considered to be less dramatic than before," ZEW President Achim Wambach said.

"The possible delay in the Brexit process as well as the renewed hope for a deal on the UK's withdrawal from the EU seem to have given rise to more optimism among financial market experts."

Wambach also noted that the progress made in the negotiations between China and the US to end the trade war between the two nations may also have contributed.

That said, the ZEW indicator pointed to relatively weak growth in the first half of the year, he added.

The current situation index of the survey fell to 11.1 from 15. Economists had expected the index to ease to 13.

The expectations for the medium-term economic development are less pessimistic than they were a month or two ago, the ZEW said.

Survey data also showed that Eurozone investor confidence improved sharply with the relevant index rising 14.1 points to minus 2.5.

However, the current conditions index for the euro area survey decreased further, by 3.6 points to minus 6.6.

On Monday, the Bundesbank said in its monthly report that the German economy is unlikely to rebound in the first quarter as the manufacturing slowdown continued.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, a panel of economic advisers to the German government known as the "wise men" slashed the growth projection for this year to 0.8 percent from 1.5 percent predicted in November.

The group forecast 1.7 percent expansion for next year.
Christoph Schmidt, the chairman of the panel, said the boom for the German economy is over now, but a recession is unlikely, thanks to the robust domestic economy.

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