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German ZEW survey falls for fifth month in row, institute says fast Q1 growth may not last

A German survey of investment professionals has found that optimism fell in May for the fifth month in a row, a sign that growth in Europe's biggest economy may be slowing.

The ZEW indicator fell to 33.1 from 43.2 in April. The decline was bigger than anticipated — the consensus in the markets was for a more modest drop to 40.0.

ZEW head Clemens Fuest said there are indications that Germany "will not be able to maintain" the strong growth it is expected to post for the first quarter. That figure is due Thursday and analysts foresee quarterly growth of around 0.7 percent.

ING analyst Carsten Brzeski said confidence has been dented by fears about the crisis in Ukraine, a possible slowdown in China, and lower stock prices.