German investor confidence passes 10-month high after third-straight rise


FRANKFURT — German investor confidence hit a 10-month high in February amid optimism that Europe’s top economy will be able to escape from the eurozone crisis relatively unscathed, data showed on Tuesday. The ZEW think tank’s economic expectations index rose by a whopping 27 points in February to stand at plus 5.4 points. It is the third consecutive monthly increase in the closely watched indicator and brought the barometer back into positive territory for the first time since May 2011 and to its highest reading since April 2011.

The increase was also much bigger than expected: analysts had been penciling in a much more modest rise of around 10 points.

“The further strong increase in economic expectations shows that analysts believe the current lull in growth in Germany is unlikely to intensify,” the ZEW said. “Positive early indicators from the United States give rise to hope of a stabilization in the global economy. And progress in the negotiations between Greece and its creditors will also have helped reduce uncertainty in the euro area,” it said.