German economic sentiment picks up, think tank says | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 17.04.2012
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German economic sentiment picks up, think tank says

Investor optimism in Germany has risen for the fifth straight month, a closely-watched survey by a research institute reports. The business community expects the economy to gain even more momentum in the future.

Business confidence in Germany continues to rise, according to a closely watched monthly survey issued by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) on Tuesday.

The Mannheim-based think tank reported that investor optimism in the country edged up for the fifth consecutive month in another upbeat sign for Europe's biggest economy.

The survey index for April rose by 1.1 points to 23.4 points. Analysts had expected a dip to 19 points, with some even predicting a figure as low as 15.

Well aware of risks

"The level of the index shows that expectations are stabilizing," said ZEW President Wolfgang Franz. "The experts polled by our center continue to forecast a positive trend for the German economy in the next six months."

Franz said the very moderate rise in the economic sentiment indicator was due to substantial global risks putting a dampener on investors' optimism. He cited economic weakness in a number of Germany's main trading partners, trends in raw material prices and the sovereign debt crisis.

Nevertheless, the feeling appears widespread among investors that the worst is over. "It's remarkable that investor optimism has not only increased in Germany, but also in much of the debt-stricken eurozone as well as in Japan and Britain," commented Heinrich Bayer, an economist with Postbank.

hg/mll (Reuters, AP, AFP)