Investor sentiment in Germany edged up in March to the highest level in more than three years, the Mannheim-based Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) reported Tuesday.
The think tank's closely watched confidence index reached 48.5 points, up only slightly from 48.2 points in the previous months, but surpassing economists' expectations by far.
The figures marked the third consecutive rise and pointed to Europe's biggest economy being on the road to recovery from a 0.6 percent contraction in the final quarter of last year. Crisis not over
"In the past weeks, financial conditions for the German economy have improved with the oil price sinking and the euro easing against the dollar," ING Bank analyst Carsten Brzeski told Reuters news agency.
The ZEW's sub-index gauging investors' assessment of their current situation rose by over eight points to 13.6 points. But the institute warned markets remained volatile because of current developments in Italy and Cyprus in particular.
"As before, the eurozone debt crisis remains the biggest risk, and this fact has been brought back to our attention over the last weeks", ZEW President Clemens Fuest said in a statement.
hg/dr (Reuters, AFP)