Finance professionals’ view of the German economy moderated slightly in February as a closely watched leading indicator eased from a record high.
The Zew indicator of the current economic situation in the eurozone’s largest economy slipped more than expected this month to 92.3 — although the latest assessment of Germany’s performance is still the second-highest reading on record. A Thomson Reuters poll gave a consensus reading of 93.9, down from 95.2 in January.
Analysts had anticipated a slight fall in the survey after a string of record highs.
The forward-looking expectations metric has trailed behind financiers’ rosier assessment of the current situation for some time, but the prolonged boom through 2017 has delayed a convergence between the two measures.
The overall measure of economic sentiment has remained stubbornly below the long-term average of 23.7 points despite the strength of the German economy. In February the headline index also fell, but not as much as analysts had expected. It came in at 17.8, beating estimates of a drop from 20.4 last month to 16.0.
The Zew indicator is compiled from a survey of banks, insurance companies and in-house finance teams who are asked about their assessments and forecasts for interest rates, stock markets and exchange rates across a clutch of major global economies, and is meant to serve as a leading indicator for the German economy.
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