March 17, 2020 / 10:18 AM / 14 days ago

German investor morale crashes on coronavirus fears, economy on 'red alert'

BERLIN, March 17 (Reuters) - The mood among German investors slumped in March to levels last seen in the 2008 financial crisis due to alarm about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The ZEW research institute said its monthly survey showed economic sentiment among investors collapsed to -49.5 from 8.7 in February. Economists had expected a drop to -26.4.

“The economy is on red alert,” said ZEW President Achim Wambach in a statement, adding financial experts expect the economy to shrink in the first quarter and think a contraction is also very likely in the second quarter.

A separate gauge measuring investors’ assessment of the economy’s current conditions decreased to -43.1 from -15.7. Analysts had forecast a reading of -30.0. (Writing by Madeline Chambers, editing by Thomas Escritt)

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