What Is a ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment?

What Is a ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Have you ever wondered how investor sentiment can impact the economy? If so, you might be interested in learning about the ZEW Economic Sentiment.

The ZEW Economic Sentiment is a widely-followed economic indicator designed to gauge the outlook and confidence of financial market experts in Germany.

ZEW, or Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung, is the German name for the Center for European Economic Research (CEER).

This non-profit research institute conducts various types of research and surveys, among which its monthly survey generates the ZEW Economic Sentiment.

This indicator is released monthly, usually in the middle of the month, and reflects the difference between the number of investment professionals and analysts surveyed who are optimistic and those who are pessimistic about the German economy’s performance over the following six months.

Why does ZEW Economic Sentiment matter?

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Well, Germany is the largest economy in Europe, and its performance often has a rippling effect throughout the European Union and global markets alike.

Thus, positive sentiment scores indicate optimism and an ascending economy, whereas negative scores reveal pessimism and, potentially, a descending economy.


Investors and state actors alike pay close attention to ZEW index scores, utilizing them as responsive indicators, prudent warning signposts, or reliable scenarios through which to develop investment decisions or fine-tune economic regulations or accommodative fiscal policies.

Key Takeaways

  1. The ZEW Economic Sentiment is an indicator that measures the confidence of financial market experts in Germany, derived from a monthly survey conducted by the Center for European Economic Research (CEER).
  2. This indicator reflects the difference between the number of surveyed professionals who hold an optimistic outlook and those with a pessimistic projection about the German economy over the following six months.
  3. Germany’s significance as Europe’s largest economy makes ZEW scores relevant for assessing the potential impacts on the European Union and global markets.
  4. Investors and policymakers closely monitor ZEW indicators to help inform their investment strategies, regulatory adjustments, or fiscal policy initiatives.

Related Questions

1. What does ZEW stand for, and what is its primary purpose?

ZEW stands for Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung, which translates to the Center for European Economic Research (CEER) in English. It’s a non-profit economic research institute that conducts studies and surveys on various economic aspects, with its primary purpose being to analyze and understand different economic phenomena.

2. How frequently is the ZEW Economic Sentiment released?

The ZEW Economic Sentiment is released on a monthly basis, typically in the middle of each month.

3. Why is the health of the German economy significant to international markets?

Germany has the largest economy in the European Union, and its financial status can have far-reaching, indirect effects on neighboring economies, the overall European market, and even globally operating markets. Leading economic indicators, like the ZEW Economic Sentiment, provide investors and policymakers with the knowledge to prepare for possible market fluctuations.

4. What is considered a positive ZEW Economic Sentiment result?

A positive ZEW Economic Sentiment result occurs when more financial market experts express optimism about the German economy’s outlook than those who are pessimistic. Higher positive scores reflect stronger confidence in the economic trajectory.

5. How do investors and policymakers use the ZEW Economic Sentiment?

Investors pay attention to ZEW scores to shape an appropriate investment approach, while policymakers may use this information in developing measures to accommodate for potential economic challenges or supporting the economy in the optimization of regulations and fiscal policies.