German investor sentiment stabilises in May

Investment sentiment in Germany stabilised in May following a sharp decline the previous month, but fell short of analyst expectations, a new survey found on Tuesday.

The widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute rose fractionally by 0.1 point to 36.4 points in May, while analysts had been projecting a more pronounced increase to around 39.5 points this month.

"After a sharp decline last month, the ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Germany has moved sideways in May 2013," the think-tank said in a statement.

"Despite mostly positive economic data for the German economy, the ZEW indicator remains at the level of the previous month. This may be due to the still poor economic situation in the eurozone, that is also reflected by the recent interest rate cut" by the European Central Bank, said ZEW president Clemens Fuest.

For the survey, ZEW questions analysts and institutional investors about their current assessment of the economic situation in Germany, as well as their expectations for the coming months.

The sub-index measuring financial market players' view of the current economic situation in Germany slipped by 0.3 point to 8.9 points in May.

A frequent criticism against the ZEW index is that it can be volatile and is therefore not particularly reliable.