German investor morale bounces back in November

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German financial market investors were more optimistic in November, a survey showed on Tuesday, boosting hopes that Europe's top economy would continue its impressive rebound into 2011.

The ZEW economic expectations indicator, based on a survey of analysts and institutional investors, rose to plus 1.8 points from a near two-year low point of minus 7.2 points, breaking a six-month run of consecutive losses.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected on average that the indicator would come in at minus four points.

The better-than-expected result caused the euro, under pressure from the ongoing debt crisis, to spike briefly on the foreign exchange markets.

"In fact, the current situation of the German economy is exceptionally good," said the institute's president Wolfgang Franz, although he cautioned against being "over-optimistic."

A separate indicator measuring investors' view of the current economic climate in Germany also rose, to 81.5 points from a previous estimate of 72.6 points.

After suffering the worst recession in more than six decades in 2009, Germany has experienced an impressive recovery in 2010, spurred by improved global demand for its goods.

Statistics released on November 12 showed that economic growth in Germany had slowed slightly in the third quarter to 0.7 percent, but this was still far ahead of its neighbours France and Italy.

Germany's world-class export engine is still running at full throttle, with sales abroad growing by three percent in September, but growth is becoming more balanced, with domestic demand also contributing to third-quarter growth.

Nevertheless, there have been some worrying signs coming from industry, with both production and orders disappointing recently, leading some to believe Germany is heading for a sharper-than-expected slowdown in 2011.

© 2010 AFP

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