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Germany

German investors expect business environment to worsen

A new monthly study by a leading research center has shown that investors in Germany are less optimistic about the future business environment than in many months before. They were wary of weak US economic indicators.

German investor sentiment dipped markedly in February, falling from recent monthly highs, the Mannheim-based center for European Economic Research (ZEW) reported Tuesday.

The think tank's widely watched confidence index dropped by six points to 55.7 in the month under review, reflecting respondents' doubts about a sustainable recovery of the world economy.

"The cautious expectations in this month's survey are likely caused by some uncertainties which came to the fore recently," ZEW President Clemens Fuest said in a statement. He pointed in particular to weak employment figures as well as some softer business indicators in the United States, fueling fears that the current economic upswing might lose momentum.

Growth prospects cast into doubt?

The figures also reflected concerns about volatile financial markets in some emerging economies and accompanying uncertainty regarding their economic prospects in the medium term.

Emerging markets: A new investment crisis?

The monthly poll among analysts and institutional investors saw another rise in the subindex measuring market players' assessments of their current situation. That partial barometer rose by 8.8 percent to 50 points in February, the highest level since 2011.

Expectations were down sharply despite the government's forecast of 1.8 percent GDP growth this year, to be followed by a 2 percent expansion of the domestic economy in 2015.

hg/mkg (Reuters, AFP)

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