ZEW: Global woes rattle German investors

Trader at the Frankfurt stock exchange Image copyright AFP
Image caption Germany has a robust labour market but there are fears over exports

Investor sentiment in Germany has shown an unexpected fall after rising steadily for the past five months, a closely watched survey has indicated.

The ZEW indicator of economic sentiment showed confidence among German investors fell to 53.3 points this month, from 54.8 in March.

However, analysts said there was no cause for concern.

ZEW president Clemens Fuest said Germany was in "good shape", but the weak global economy could hit exports.

The index was based on the responses of 238 investment analysts between 7 and 20 April.

Economists at the Mannheim-based institute said the investors surveyed expected a "very good situation" to continue for at least the next half-year, adding that German private consumption would strengthen further, but were concerned about Greece's debt crisis as a factor in investors' weaker expectations.

The German government plans to raise its growth forecast for the economy, Europe's biggest, to 1.8% this year, up from its current estimate of 1.5%.

Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said: "Strong tailwinds from a robust labour market, low oil prices and a competitively priced exchange rate, as well as the reform successes in countries such as Spain, are propelling the German economy forward."

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