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German investor confidence hits 21 month high

GERMAN investor confidence hit the highest level for 21 months in March, new figures show amidst growing optimism that Europe’s biggest economy is getting through the debt crisis.

The ZEW think tank's economic expectations index rose by 16.9 points in March to stand at +22.3, its highest level since June 2010.

Analysts had lower expectations for the index.

This is the fourth month in a row that the index has grown "and shows that the positive outlook for the German economy is hardening," said ZEW president Wolfgang Franz.

"Financial market experts feel themselves strengthened in their belief that the recently slower growth momentum will not harm the generally robust German economy," he added.

"The euro zone crisis appears to be taking a breather. In Germany, the favourable labour market situation should ensure that domestic demand will continue to drive the economy."

But he conceded that risks persist given weaknesses in other economies and the banking sector.