German investor morale rebounds on expectations COVID will fade

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BERLIN, Jan 18 (Reuters) - German investor sentiment surged in January on expectations that the incidence of COVID-19 cases will fall by early summer, allowing growth in Europe's largest economy to pick up in the coming six months, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The ZEW economic research institute said its economic sentiment index rose to 51.7 from 29.9 points in December. A Reuters poll had pointed to a rise to 32.0.

"The economic outlook has improved considerably with the start of the new year. The majority of financial market experts assume that economic growth will pick up in the coming six months," ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement.

"It is likely that the phase of economic weakness from the fourth quarter of 2021 will soon be overcome. The main reason for this is the assumption that the incidence of COVID-19 cases will fall significantly by early summer," he added.

An index for current conditions fell to -10.2 points from -7.4. The consensus forecast was for a reading of -8.5.

(Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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