German investor confidence improved more than economists expected in January. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research index of investor and analyst expectations rose to minus 31 from minus 45.2 in December, its third successive increase. The index reached minus 63.9 in July, the lowest since it was first compiled in December 1991.
ZEW’s gauge of the current situation slid to minus 77.1, the lowest since December 2003, from minus 64.5.
Producer Prices Fall
One of the reasons that German investors may be feeing a bit better is that producer prices dropped in December as the cost of oil fell and the global economic decline curbed demand. Prices were down 1 percent from November when they fell by 1.5 percent, according to the latest data from the Federal Statistics Office. From a year earlier, prices rose 4.3 percent.
The cost of oil has fallen more than 75 percent from a record $147.27 per barrel in July, reducing costs for companies that struggle to keep market share as the economy contracts. Europe’s inflation rate dropped to 1.6 percent in December, the lowest in more than two years.
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