German investors increasingly optimistic as COVID cases fall

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A man crosses a street shortly after the end of the curfew in central Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BERLIN (AP) — German investors are increasingly optimistic about the country’s economy as the latest surge of new coronavirus infections seems to be slowing, a closely-watched survey showed Tuesday.

The Mannheim-based ZEW institute said its indicator of economic expectations for Germany over the next six months increased 13.7 points in May over the previous month to a reading of 84.4, the highest value since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last time the indicator was at a higher level was in February 2000.

The increase came after an unexpected drop in April when new daily cases of coronavirus infection were much higher.

Germany’s disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 6,125 newly confirmed cases on Tuesday, compared to 17,855 new cases the same day a month ago.

Germany has also recently posted some encouraging economic data, with factory production and exports increasing strongly and unemployment holding steady despite ongoing pandemic restrictions.

“The slowing down of the third COVID-19 wave has made financial market experts even more optimistic,” said ZEW head Achim Wambach. “The experts expect a significant economic upswing in the coming six months.”

Investors were also more positive about Germany’s current economic situation, with that assessment rising 8.7 points to minus 40.1 on ZEW’s scale.

The survey was based on the responses from 188 analysts to a poll conducted from May 3 through May 10.

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