German confidence highest since 2004 Aug 12, 2020 0 634 12345 AFPFrankfurtConfidence among investors in Germany soared to its highest level in almost 17 years in August, as Europe’s largest economy accelerates its rebound from the crushing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.The ZEW institute’s monthly barometer measuring economic sentiment leapt to 71.5, based on a survey of 178 analysts, the highest since January 2004. The reading is a rise of 12.2 points from July, when it declined slightly.The survey’s figure for investor confidence in the eurozone also creeped up -- by 4.4 points to 64.0.“Signs of a strong economic recovery in the summer are continuing to appear, in line with a still quite optimistic mood on the financial markets,” according to Uwe Burkert, chief economist at Stuttgart-based bank LBBW.Analysts had predicted a small fall in investor confidence from 59.3 to 58.0, according to a survey by FactSet.Following a 10.1 percent plunge in German GDP in the second quarter compared with the first three months of 2020, there was a healthy uptick in industrial production and exports in June, according to figures released last week. “Hopes for a speedy economic recovery have continued to grow, but the assessment of the situation is improving only slowly,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said. Domestic sectors should expect to recover, Wambach said, but in a note of caution, he added: “The still very poor earnings expectations for the banking sector and insurers regarding the coming six months give cause for concern.”“The danger of an expectation bubble, triggered by massive fiscal and monetary-policy impulses, which primarily boost the financial markets, is not off the table,” Burkert noted. Pages 1234 RELATED ARTICLES IMF economic outlook too pessimistic: US Aug 12, 2020 0 679 SoftBank back to black with $12 bn profit after huge losses Aug 12, 2020 0 903 Peanut traders baffled by Sudan export ban on key cash crop Aug 12, 2020 0 662 Facebook creates unit devoted to financial services AFP San Francisco Facebook on Monday said it has created a new unit devoted to financial services to harmonize payment systems on its platform. The new group, called Facebook Financial, will be headed by e-commerce ..