Berlin: Investor sentiment in Germany inched higher in March to the highest level for more than three years, with analysts convinced that the outlook for Europe's top economy remains bright, a new survey found on Tuesday.
The widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute edged up to 48.5 points in March from 48.2 points in February. That is its highest level since April 2010.
"After three substantial increases between December 2012 and February 2013, the indicator has stabilised in March at a respectable level," said ZEW president Clemens Fuest. "The political situation in Italy and the rescue package for Cyprus have increased the risk that the eurozone debt crisis will worsen again. This may have contributed to the fact that the indicator has not increased substantially this month," he said.
Nevertheless, the analysts quizzed by ZEW were sticking to their forecasts, Fuest continued. "The economic situation in Germany is likely to improve over the next months. As before, the eurozone debt crisis remains the biggest risk. This fact has been brought back to our attention over the last weeks," he said.
For the survey, ZEW questions analysts and institutional investors about their current assessment of the economic situation in Germany, as well as their expectations for the coming months. The sub-index measuring financial market players' view of the current economic situation in Germany jumped by 8.4 points to 13.6 points in March, its highest level since August 2012.
A frequent criticism against the ZEW index is that it can be volatile and is therefore not particularly reliable.