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1ST LEAD German investor confidence rises less than forecast By Andrew McCathie, dpa

Europe
17.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - A strong German economy combined with a booming national share market helped the country‘s investors to shrug off worries about political uncertainty following last month‘s election, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) said on Tuesday its closely watched monthly indicator for Europe‘s biggest economy edged up to 17.6 points this month from a September reading of 17 points.

"The improved outlook for the coming six months is not least the result of the surprisingly positive growth figures seen in the previous months," said ZEW chief Achim Wambach.

He went on to say that Germany‘s solid economic performance added to expectations that the European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi will set out next Thursday plans for winding back the ECB‘s monthly 60-billion-euro (70.6-billion-dollar) bond-buying scheme.

The Frankfurt Stock Market‘s main DAX index closed on Monday above 13,000 points for the first time in its near 30-year history thanks in part to the slew of stronger-than-forecast German economic data.

However, the October gain in the ZEW, which points to analysts and institutional investors‘ economic expectations for six months down the track, fell short of analysts‘ forecast. This had been for a rise to 20 points in this month.

The indicator in October also remained below its long-term average of 23.8 points.

While a ZEW reading above zero points to optimism, a reading below zero points to pessimism.

The ZEW survey was mounted following last month‘s national election, which resulted in a political setback for Chancellor Angela Merkel that left her facing tough talks to forge an untested three-party national coalition.

The difficulty of the coalition talks between Merkel‘s conservative political bloc, the pro-business Free Democrats and the environmentalist Greens means that a new government might not be formed in Gemany until the end of the year.

"Overall, the October ZEW survey shows strong investors sentiment in the fourth quarter 2017, despite political uncertainty due to the Jamaica coalition talks," said Barclays Bank economist Iaroslav Shelepko.

The political colours of the three parties involved in the coalition talks are the same as Jamaican flag.

The 205 institutional investors and analysts responding to the survey also lowered their assessment of the nation‘s current economic conditions with the corresponding index falling to 87 points in October from 87.9 in the September.

But Wambach said: "The fact that the inflation rate is rising again, and expected to climb further, equally points towards a positive economic development in Germany, making a change in the ECB‘s monetary policy more likely."

 

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