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German ZEW confidence survey barely rises

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Germany's ZEW survey of investor optimism barely rose in May, reflecting the weak economy in the euro currency union.

The ZEW research institute's index rose to 36.4 from 36.3 in April. Market analysts had forecast a rise to 40.0

ZEW President Clemens Fuest said Tuesday the "poor economic situation" in the 17-strong group of European Union countries that use the euro played a role in holding down optimism — despite mostly positive economic data for Germany. Germany, the eurozone's largest economy, trades with other members such as Spain and Italy, which are stuck in recessions with high unemployment.

The German economy shrank 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter but is expected to show a return to growth when figures for the first three months of the year come out Wednesday.