German Investor Confidence Worsens Amid Raw Material Shortages
German investor confidence declined for a fifth month in October, adding to evidence that global supply bottlenecks and a surge in inflation are weighing on the recovery in Europe’s largest economy.
The ZEW institute’s gauge of expectations fell to 22.3 from 26.5 the previous month, the lowest since the start of coronavirus lockdowns last year. The outlook for the euro zone also deteriorated, as did measures of current conditions.
A persistent shortage of inputs, a lack of shipping capacity and a rapid increase in energy costs are threatening economic rebounds across the globe, leaving manufacturing-heavy countries such as Germany particularly exposed. Some of the country’s major economic think tanks have already revised down their domestic growth projections, with the Ifo and DIW institutes both forecasting that the recovery will be pushed into 2022.
This month’s decline in sentiment “is mainly due to the persisting supply bottlenecks for raw materials and intermediate products,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement. “Financial market experts expect profits to go down, especially in export-oriented sectors such as vehicle manufacturing and chemicals and pharmaceuticals.”
Businesses have also reported a loss in optimism, and recent surveys suggest weakness is spilling into services as consumers turn wary of quickly rising prices.
Germany’s inflation rate climbed to the highest level in nearly three decades in September. So far, European Central Bank officials have insisted that the spike is largely transitory, but recently started to warn that price pressures could also be more persistent.
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