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The good times are still rollin’ for the German economy.
A major survey of the country’s economists and investors carried out by the Zew think-tank has hit its highest level since the depths of the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis, beating expectations and underscoring buoyant sentiment in the bloc’s biggest country this year.
Zew’s measure of the current economic conditions in Germany has hit 80.1 this month up from 77.3 in March (forecast: 77.5). The survey’s measure of future expectations also gained a healthy 6.7 points on the month, hitting 19.5 and its best level since the UK’s EU referendum last June.
April’s sentiment index mirrors the brightening outlook for the German and eurozone economy at the start of 2017, with measures of private sector activity and consumer confidence gaining in a year of key elections in Paris and Berlin.
Unemployment has also made steady declines across the continent, falling to its lowest level in eight years as businesses have shrugged off any adverse impact from the Brexit vote and election of Donald Trump last year.
Germany now boasts its lowest rate of unemployment since the country’s reunification in 1990 at 3.2 per cent, with economists saying the economy is now broadly at “full employment”. This should help push up wages after years of stagnancy and support consumer demand in Europe’s largest member state.