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German investor morale rises in December, boosted by vaccines

German investor sentiment soared more than expected in December on expectations that vaccines against the coronavirus will boost the outlook for Europe’s largest economy, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The ZEW economic research institute said its survey of investors’ economic sentiment moved up to 55.0 from 39.0 in the previous month. A Reuters poll had forecast a reading of 45.5.

“The announcement of imminent vaccine approvals makes financial market experts more confident about the future,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement.

A separate gauge of current conditions fell, however, to -66.5 from -64.3 in the previous month. That compared with a consensus forecast of -66.0 points.

Germany is rushing to prepare vaccination centres across the country so it can start offering shots quickly once a vaccine has been approved in Europe. Britain began the mass vaccination of its population against COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The investor morale data reinforced other positive news on the German economy, which grew by 8.5% quarter-on-quarter from July through September after plunging 9.8% plunge in the second quarter during first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Booming car sales drove a stronger-than-expected jump in German industrial output in October, in a further sign that export-oriented manufacturing helped the economy to get off to a solid start in the fourth quarter.

The German government has unleashed an unprecedented array of rescue and stimulus measures to help companies and consumers get through the COVID-19 pandemic as unscathed as possible, including incentives to buy electric and hybrid cars.

Industrial output was up by 3.2% on the month in October after an upwardly revised increase of 2.3% the month before, figures released by the Federal Statistics Office showed on Monday. That was the biggest increase since June.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Paul Carrel; editing by Riham Alkousaa, Larry King)

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