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German investor morale tumbles on bank concerns – ZEW

By:
Reuters
Published: Mar 21, 2023, 11:21 UTC

BERLIN (Reuters) - German investor sentiment tumbled in March as concerns about a new financial crisis ended a five-month streak of consecutive increases, the ZEW economic research institute said on Tuesday.

The German national flag flies in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – German investor sentiment tumbled in March as concerns about a new financial crisis ended a five-month streak of consecutive increases, the ZEW economic research institute said on Tuesday.

The institute’s index assessing the outlook for the economy over the next six months fell by 15.1 points to a reading of 13.0 in March, below the 17.1 forecast of analysts polled by Reuters.

“The international financial markets are under strong pressure,” and the high level of uncertainty is reflected in the economic expectations, said ZEW President Achim Wambach.

The market spillover from the collapse of U.S. mid-sized lenders Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank this month triggered the demise of 167-year-old Credit Suisse, and investors are concerned about potential bombs ticking elsewhere in the financial system.

Investors’ concerns about banking sector turbulence weighing on the economy are not unjustified, said VP Bank chief economist Thomas Gitzel. “The focus is less on the fear of further bank failures than on the question of whether banks on both sides of the Atlantic will now become even more restrictive,” he said.

Hauck Aufhaeuser Lampe private bank chief economist Alexander Krueger downplayed the drop in expectations as an obvious reaction to recent developments. “If the bank worries are not confirmed, there is great potential for recovery,” he said.

The persistently poor assessment of the economic conditions was more meaningful in economic terms, added Krueger.

The assessment of the economic situation in Germany fell deeper into negative territory in March, dropping to -46.5 from -45.1 the month before and below analysts’ prediction of -44.3.

(Reporting by Friederike Heine, Rene Wagner and Klaus Lauer, Writing by Miranda Murray, Editing by Rachel More, Matthias Williams and Tomasz Janowski)

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