German investor confidence regains ground in January

23 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Confidence among investors in Germany regained ground in January but remained negative overall, a regular survey published Tuesday showed as fears grow of a slowdown within the 19-nation eurozone.

Economic expectations for the coming months improved to -15 points, the ZEW institute's monthly poll of 212 investors and analysts found, 2.5 points better than in December, reports AFP.

"It's remarkable that expectations didn't continue to worsen given the numerous global risks to the economy," ZEW chief Achim Wambach said in a statement.

"Financial market experts have already lowered their forecasts for economic growth significantly in recent months... anticipating new, potentially burdensome factors" like the growing risk of a hard Brexit or slower growth in China, he added.

Looking to other elements of the survey, investors' expectations for the coming months across the 19-nation eurozone also improved slightly, while remaining in negative figures.

But their judgement of the present economic situation in Germany crumbled by 17.7 points, to 27.6.

The German economy suffered in the fourth quarter of 2018 from one-off factors like low water in the Rhine slowing shipping and new emissions tests hindering the car industry.

And external risks like Brexit, trade confrontations between Beijing, Washington and Brussels and unforeseen political events like France's "yellow vest" protests could yet inflict sudden shocks.

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund predicted 1.3 percent growth for Germany in 2019 -- 0.6 points lower than its previous forecast.

Nevertheless, economists and politicians have pointed to strong domestic fundamentals, including high levels of employment and rising wages, as buttresses against a sudden downturn.