ZEW Financial Market Survey & ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment


Based on the ZEW Financial Market Test, up to 300 experts from banks, insurance companies and financial departments of selected corporations have been interviewed about their assessments and forecasts for important international financial market data every month since 1991. Participants are asked about their six-months expectations concerning the economy, inflation rates, interest rates, stock markets and exchange rates in the Eurozone, Germany, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, France and Italy as well as their expectations concerning the oil price. One indicator is created and published from the results of the ZEW Financial Market Survey: The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment is a leading indicator for the German economy similar to the ifo Index.

The results are published and analyzed in the monthly publication Financial Market Report (only available in German). In addition, the survey findings are published in regular intervals via the press in the form of indicators and forecasts. The information service Reuters also publishes the aggregative survey results.

ZEW Index


  • Optimistischer Jahresbeginn – Konjunkturerwartungen steigen sehr stark an
  • Eurozone: Konjunkturerwartungen hellen sich auf
  • USA: Positiver Trend der Erwartungen hält an, Lage verschlechtert sich
  • China: Deutlich verbesserter Ausblick
  • Wachstumsrate des deutschen BIP: Null Prozent für 2023, positiv für 2024
  • Weitere Ergebnisse des ZEW-Finanzmarkttests Januar 2023
Authors Michael Schröder // Elisabeth Jeßberger // Philipp Schulz // Frank Brückbauer

Additional information

Current press releases for the ZEW indicator

Detailed results of the latest survey

Historical time series

ZEW Financial Market Survey

The ZEW Financial Market Survey was introduced in 1991. It is conducted on a monthly basis to collect the prevalent German expectations regarding the development of six important international financial markets. Overall up to 350 analysts working at banks, insurances and major industrial firms participate in the survey. In general a time window of two weeks is given to answer the survey. The composition of the panel of participants is relatively constant.

The financial experts are asked to express their medium-term expectations with respect to the development of the business cycle, the rate of inflation, short- and long run interest rates, the stock market, exchange rates and the oil price. The questions target the situations in Germany, the USA, Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy, and the Euro-zone as a whole. Finally the financial markets experts are asked to asses the profitability of diverse economic sectors (banks, insurances, trade, construction and vehicle industry, chemistry, steal, electronics, mechanical engineering, utilities, services, telecommunication and information technology). The experts’ individual predictions on a certain category form fractions which reflect different assumptions in percent (e.g. 70 percent of the participants expect the DAX to rise, 20 percent believe in an unaltered index and 10 percent expect it to fall). We compute the balance of these fractions by taking the difference between positive and negative forecasts for each variable. The result of this method applied to expected changes in the economic situation in Germany is called the "ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment".

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment is calculated from the results of the ZEW Financial Market Survey. It is constructed as the difference between the percentage share of analysts that are optimistic and the share of analysts that are pessimistic for the German economy in six months. Example: If 30 per cent of participants expect the German economic situation to improve within the next six months, 30 per cent expect no change and 40 per cent expect the economic situation to deteriorate, the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment would take a value of -10. Thus, a positive number means that the share of optimists outweighs the share of pessimists and vice versa.