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ZEW: Brexit delay hopes help improve German economic sentiment in March

Economic expectations in Germany improved more than expected in March, though the corresponding indicator remained in negative territory, according to German economic research institute ZEW.

The ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Germany rose to negative 3.6 points in March from negative 13.4 in the prior month. The Econoday consensus estimate for the indicator was negative 11.0.

A potential delay in the U.K.'s exit from the EU from the current March 29 deadline and renewed hopes of a Brexit deal being reached appears to have improved business optimism in Germany, according to ZEW President Achim Wambach. The improvement in the ZEW economic sentiment indicator suggests that Germany's major economic risks may be less dramatic than before, Wambach added.

Despite the improvement, the indicator still points to "relatively weak growth in the first half," Wambach said.