German investor sentiment rises
BERLIN—German investor sentiment rose in December following nine straight falls, but not by as much as anticipated as Europe's debt crisis continued to weigh on the continent's biggest economy, a closely-watched survey showed Tuesday.
ZEW's main investor sentiment index for December rose 1.4 points to minus 53.8 points overall. Analysts had forecast a bigger rise to minus 52.
The survey, which polled 287 analysts and institutional investors from Nov. 28 to Dec. 12, also recorded a 5 point rise in economic sentiment for the 17-nation eurozone, taking the index up to minus 54.1 point.
ZEW said the increases may reflect some optimism over last Friday's deal to bind the economies of the eurozone closer together.
"The decisions of the latest EU summit may have improved the experts' expectations," ZEW president Wolfgang Franz said. "Subject to a consensus on crucial details, these decisions are an important step toward an efficient institutional framework for the currency union."
The negative reading for Germany is indicative of the uncertainty caused by the European debt crisis, and suggests investors believe the economic situation will weaken over the next six months, Franz said. Still, he added, the slight uptick indicates that sentiment "seems to have bottomed out."
"Apparently the financial markets experts expect the economic activity to slow down, but not to plunge during the next six months," Franz said.
Meantime, the assessment of the current situation in Germany remained in positive territory at 26.8 points, despite dropping 7.4 points, the fifth monthly decline in a row. For the eurozone, the indicator dropped by 4.3 points to minus 44.1.