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German economic confidence falls most since 1991

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | March 17, 2020
Germany's economic confidence logged its sharpest decline on record in March as financial market experts fear recession due to the coronavirus, results of a private survey showed today.
German factory
Germany   German factory
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment plunged 58.2 points to -49.5 in March, survey results from the ZEW Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research revealed.

Topics: German economic

This was the biggest fall since the survey began in 1991 and reached its lowest level since December 2011. The score was also worse than the economists' forecast of -27.2.

At the same time, the index measuring current economic situation declined 27.4 points to -43.1 in March. The expected reading was -30.0.

This combination of strongly negative values for both economic sentiment and the assessment of the current situation were reported only during the financial crisis in 2008.

"The economy is on red alert," ZEW President Achim Wambach said.

"The financial market experts currently expect to see a decline in real gross domestic product in the first quarter, while also considering a further drop in the second quarter to be very likely."

For the whole of 2020, the majority of experts currently expect a decline in real GDP growth of approximately one percentage point as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Wambach noted.