Investor sentiment in Germany fell unexpectedly in April, the ZEW economic research institute said today, citing rising fears that Europe's largest economy will go into a stricter lockdown, depressing private consumption.

The ZEW institute said its survey of investors' economic sentiment fell to 70.7 points, its first drop since November 2020.

That compared with 76.6 in the previous month. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise to 79.

"The financial market experts are somewhat less euphoric than in the previous month," ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement.

"The ZEW indicator of economic sentiment is, however, still at a very high level and the current situation is assessed much more positively than in March," he added.

A separate gauge of current conditions rose to -48.8 points from -61 the previous month. That compared with a consensus forecast for -53 points

"Fears of a stricter lockdown have led to a decline in expectations for private consumption," Wambach said. "Nevertheless, the outlook for exports is better than in the previous month."