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Hopes of easing inflation boost investor morale in Germany

German investor confidence saw a surprising rebound in November, a closely watched survey showed Tuesday, on hopes that inflation will start to slow and ease the pain on businesses and households.

The ZEW institute’s economic index jumped by 22.5 points to minus 36.7 points, the second consecutive increase after months of falling confidence.

Analysts surveyed by Factset had expected a smaller boost in morale, predicting a reading of minus 51 points for November.

The increase “is likely to be related above all to the hope that inflation rates will fall soon,” said ZEW president Achim Wambach.

“However, the economic outlook for the German economy is still clearly negative,” he said.

For its survey, ZEW quizzes experts about their outlook for the coming six months. A negative reading means that most experts are pessimistic.

The survey also asks respondents about their assessment of Germany’s current economic situation. Here too investors were more upbeat, with the reading inching up by 7.7 points to minus 64.5 points.

Almost two thirds of respondents also said they expected Germany’s inflation rate to fall over the next six months.

Surging energy costs helped pushed German inflation to a record high of 10.4 percent in October, but prices are expected to come down as relief measures kick in.

The German government has announced a 200-billion-euro ($208 billion) package to shield companies and citizens from the fallout of sky-high energy prices in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The plan includes a one-off payment to cover heating bills in December, and a cap on electricity and gas prices from early 2023.

The government has also raced to fill its gas reserves for winter, which are now almost 100 percent full.

Economist Christoph Swonke from DZ Bank said although investors had reason to cheer some “good news”, investor morale remained low overall.

November’s more hopeful mood “doesn’t yet herald a turnaround, as the uncertainties and economic headwinds from high inflation remain high,” Swonke said.

Germany’s economy is expected to fall into recession next year and shrink by 0.4 percent.