German investor sentiment suffered a record slide in March due to the war in Ukraine and economic sanctions on Russia, a survey showed today, with collapsing expectations making a recession in Europe's largest economy "more and more likely".

The ZEW economic research institute said its economic sentiment index dropped to -39.3 points from 54.3 in February.

The fall was the biggest since the survey began in December 1991. A Reuters poll had pointed to a reading of 10 for March.

"A recession is becoming more and more likely. The war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia are significantly dampening the economic outlook for Germany," ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement.

"The collapsing economic expectations are accompanied by an extreme rise in inflation expectations," he added.

An index for current conditions fell to -21.4 from -8.1. The consensus forecast was for a reading of -22.5.

Germany's finance minister said yesterday the cabinet would approve a draft 2022 budget tomorrow.

But he added that he would submit supplementary fiscal plans to parliament in the coming weeks to reflect the economic impact of the war in Ukraine.

In evidence of the fallout from the Ukraine crisis in corporate Germany, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said today the full impact of the war was not yet clear and was throwing the carmaker's 2022 outlook into question.