German Investor Confidence Unchanged as Economy Gathers Pace

(Bloomberg) -- German investor confidence remained unchanged in a sign that Europe’s largest economy is on track to end the year on a strong note.

The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said on Tuesday that its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months ahead, held at 13.8. Economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted an increase to 14.0. A gauge for current conditions rose to the highest level in more than a year.

The data follows recent indications that the German economy is gathering pace after a slowdown in the third quarter. A report published last week showed factory orders surging the most in more than two years as demand for investment goods strengthened, while business sentiment held at a 2014 high in November. The German Economy Ministry said Monday that fourth-quarter growth is likely to accelerate as global economic and export prospects brighten.

“The overall assessment is quite positive,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement. “The considerable economic risks arising from the tense situation in the Italian banking sector, as well as the political risks surrounding upcoming elections in Europe, seem to have faded into the background at the moment.”

ZEW’s gauge for current conditions rose to 63.5 in December from 58.8. That’s the highest since September 2015. A measure for expectations in the euro area advanced to 18.1 from 15.8.

German inflation remained unchanged in November at 0.7 percent, a separate report from the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden showed on Tuesday, confirming a previous flash estimate. The European Central Bank last week extended the length of its bond-buying program to December 2017 in an effort to secure price stability in the currency bloc, while reducing the amount of monthly purchases from April.