MANNHEIM, Germany, Feb 19 (Reuters) - German analyst and
investor sentiment soared to its highest level since April 2010,
beating all expectations with a third successive increase and
signalling that financial markets are confident Europe's largest
economy has turned a corner.
The Mannheim-based ZEW think tank said on Tuesday its
monthly poll of economic sentiment rose to 48.2 points from 31.5
in January, beating even the highest expectation in a Reuters
poll with a median forecast for 35.0 points.
The index was based on a survey of 272 analysts and
investors conducted between Feb. 4 and 18, ZEW said.
The better-than-expected reading boosted the euro and
European shares and sent German Bund futures lower.
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JENNIFER MCKEOWN, CAPITAL ECONOMICS:
'The fact that the index is now firmly in positive territory
means that a large majority of investors see economic conditions
improving in the next six months. But there are a few caveats.
First, the index has never been well correlated with GDP
growth and we will await February's business surveys for
stronger evidence of a recovery.
Second, given the weak starting point of a 0.6% quarterly
fall in GDP in Q4, it is hardly surprising that investors now
see conditions improving - anything else would be deeply
worrying. And third, the recent improvement might relate partly
to the ECB's hints of further policy support and signs of
progress in the euro-zone's periphery (including the Irish bank
With Mr Draghi's words yet to be followed up with actions
and political risks in Italy growing, we fear that investor
sentiment might weaken again before long.'
THOMAS GITZEL, VP BANK:
'The number of people who are optimistic about growth has
clearly grown, as shown by the expectations component of the
ZEW. The rising optimism among analysts is linked to the debt
'But in the context of a surprisingly clear slowdown in the
economy all that remains is to hope for a quick return to
RALF UMLAUF, HELABA
'The numbers are gratifying, especially as the positive
consensus estimate was clearly exceeded again. For sure the
decline in the current conditions is disappointing, but the mean
value from both components provides a very benign indicator for
the Ifo business climate which is to be published on Friday.
'Expectations of an economic recovery after the weak final
quarter of 2012 are underpinned. Germany should in this respect
be able to avoid a recession.'
* For a story on Germany's Bundesbank seeing some German
growth in Q1 and a pick-up in the pace later this year, click on
* For a story on Germany's economy shrinking the most since
the 2009 financial crisis, click on
* For a story on German firms being optimistic on exports
despite a strong euro, click on
* For a story on Germany's Economy Ministry saying the
German economy will gradually regain momentum this year, click
* For a story on Germany's trade surplus soaring, click on
* For a story on manufacturing pushing German industry
output slightly up in December, click on
* For a story on euro zone demand pushing German industry
orders higher, click on
* For a story on Germany's private sector expanding at its
fastest rate since June 2011, click on
* For a story on German manufacturing suggesting a return to
economic growth, click on
* For a story on German retail sales plunging in December,
* For a story on German unemployment falling in January,
(Reporting by Berlin bureau)
Keywords: GERMANY ZEW/
(MichelleHannah.Martin@thomsonreuters.com)(+49 30 2888 5223)(Reuters Messaging: MichelleHannah.Martin.firstname.lastname@example.org)
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