Investor confidence improves slightly in March

15th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 March 2005, MANNHEIM - Germany's business climate improved slightly in March according to a key indicator posted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim on Tuesday.

15 March 2005

MANNHEIM - Germany's business climate improved slightly in March according to a key indicator posted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim on Tuesday.

The ZEW said its monthly economic expectations index gained by 0.4 points in March to reach 36.3 points, remaining above the historical average of 34.5 points. But the March rise was well below the strong 9-point gain in the ZEW index in February.

In its report, the ZEW said that German business climate expectations were boosted by encouraging data for incoming orders and an impressive increase in German exports.

But negative factors were the euro exchange rate, again approaching last year's high against the dollar, along with rising oil prices, the ZEW said.

"Without new reforms, economic uncertainty is likely to continue during the months ahead. Which is why it is all the more important that persuasive signals are sent out from the top-level talks with the German Chancellor if the reform process is to gain momentum," said ZEW President Professor Wolfgang Franz.

His comment referred to the meeting between Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and opposition leader Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats set for Thursday to explore ways to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment, now at a post-war record of 5.2 million.

The ZEW each month surveys more than 300 analysts and institutional investors for their views about the economy and their future expectations.

DPA

Subject: German news

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