German Economic Sentiment Up in December

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The FINANCIAL — German economic sentiment has picked up further in December, a survey of analysts and institutional investors showed Tuesday, pointing to a slight acceleration of economic activity following a slack third quarter, according to Nasdaq.

The ZEW indicator of economic expectations rose to 16.1 from 10.4 in November, its highest level since August. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a smaller increase to 15.0.

“The German economy is sufficiently robust to meet the challenges in the coming year,” said Clemens Fuest, the president of the ZEW thinktank.

“While the large influx of refugees is, above all, a major challenge facing policy-makers and the civil society in Germany, the economic slowdown in emerging markets is exerting pressure on Germany’s export industry,” he said.

The ZEW indicator of current economic conditions picked up too, following two consecutive declines, rising to 55.0 in December from 54.4 in November.

The data are the latest in a string of improving economic indicators for Europe’s largest economy. But Michael Schroeder, a senior researcher at the ZEW in Mannheim, said that the survey outcome would have been even stronger, but ” about 40% of the survey participants said they had been negatively affected by the terror attacks in Paris and decreased their outlook for the next year.”

The ZEW survey reflects the assessment of financial analysts and institutional investors. Economic forecasters prefer to rely on business surveys, such as the purchasing managers index and the Ifo business survey, to gauge underlying economic strengths or weaknesses.


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