German investor confidence rises

Six-month outlook for Germany reaches highest level since May 2010

Investor confidence for Germany reached its highest level in more than two and a half years in January on optimism that German companies will soon start long-delayed investments and diminishing concern over international issues such as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and the US fiscal cliff, according to a survey by the ZEW Centre for European Economic Research.

The ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Germany jumped 24.6 points in January, the second consecutive rise, soaring to 31.5 points, its highest level since May 2010, ZEW says in a press release today. The gain follows a jump of 22.6 points in December that brought the index out of negative territory and heralded an optimistic start to 2013.

‘The financial market experts seem to expect the positive sentiment on the financial markets may soon result in companies realizing investments that had been postponed earlier,’ says Wolfgang Franz, president of ZEW, in the release. ‘However, the economic situation of important trade partners is rightly considered to still be weak. This suggests the German economy will further grow at a moderate level in 2013.’

The main ZEW indicator measures the six-month economic outlook for Germany, based on a survey of 272 analysts taken between January 2 and January 21. The numbers represent the difference between the percentage of analysts with positive outlooks and those with negative outlooks.

Analysts’ assessment of Germany’s current economic situation in January rose 1.4 points to 7.1 points, after remaining little changed through December. Germany was the only country measured in the survey for which the assessment of the current economic situation was in positive territory.

The eurozone followed Germany closely into an atmosphere of increased optimism in January, with sentiment for the zone’s six-month outlook rising 23.6 points to 31.2 points, according to ZEW data. The assessment of the current state of the eurozone economy also rose by 4.6 points, but remained deeply in negative territory, at minus 75.3 points.

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