German Investor Confidence Improves Amid Easing Virus Curbs
(Bloomberg) -- Investor confidence in Germany’s economic recovery improved after the government laid out a path toward ending coronavirus lockdowns, attempting to offer businesses a bit more certainty in planning for the months ahead.
A gauge of expectations rose to 76.6 in March from 71.2 the previous month, reaching the highest since September, according to a survey by economic research institute ZEW.
The outlook deteriorated on Monday when Germany joined other European nations in stopping vaccinations with AstraZeneca Plc’s shot to study its effects, potentially delaying an easing of restrictions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has tied lifting curbs to the number of infections, which have risen lately as more infectious virus strains spread. For now though, there’s little concern that keeping businesses closed for longer will significantly harm the economy.
Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has argued that Germany is “sufficiently resilient to cope” and an economic recovery would “arguably only be postponed.” The institution predicted in December that output would grow 3% this year following a shallower-than-expected 2020 slump.
The German economy has weathered the second wave of the pandemic better than other nations thanks to its heavy focus on manufacturing. While most shops have been shuttered since December and are only gradually reopening, factories have continued to operate.
Survey respondents predict at least 70% of Germany’s population will be vaccinated by fall, ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement.
“Economic optimism continues to rise,” he said, adding that “experts expect a
broad-based recovery of the German economy.”
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