March 14, 2017 / 10:27 AM / 4 months ago

German investor morale improves less than expected in March

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BERLIN, March 14 (Reuters) - The mood among German investors improved less than expected in March, a survey showed on Tuesday, as uncertainties about the outcome of major European elections and their effect on the growth outlook for Europe's biggest economy remained high.

Mannheim-based ZEW said its monthly survey showed its economic sentiment index rose to 12.8 from 10.4 points in the previous month. This undershot the Reuters consensus forecast for rise to 13.1.

A separate gauge measuring investors' assessment of the economy's current conditions edged up to 77.3 points from 76.4 in February. This was also slightly weaker than the Reuters consensus forecast which predicted a reading of 78.0.

ZEW President Achim Wambach said the fact that sentiment only improved slightly reflected the current uncertainty surrounding future economic development.

"With regard to the economic situation in Germany, no clear conclusions can be drawn from the most recent economic signals for January 2017," Wambach said.

"The political risks resulting from upcoming elections in a number of EU countries are keeping uncertainty surrounding the German economy at a relatively high level," Wambach added.

Far-right parties are expected to make a strong showings in elections in the Netherlands on Wednesday and in France next month. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Joseph Nasr)

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