The ZEW institute’s barometer added 6.7 points for a reading of 3.1 in April, it said after its regular monthly polling of around 200 financial players and analysts.
It was the first positive reading for the indicator in just over a year, a period in which threats to growth like Brexit, trade wars and weakness in emerging markets have plagued investors.
The uptick “is based above all on hope that the global economic context will develop less badly than previously supposed,” ZEW chief Achim Wambach said in a statement.
“A contribution to the improved expectations will have come from the delay to the date of Brexit” to October 31 at a European summit last week, he added.
Export-oriented Germany has suffered from a global trade slowdown and uncertainty over possible new barriers to trade with major markets in Britain and United States.
Brexit could create new hurdles where trade with the island nation has so far been frictionless.
And US President Donald Trump has threatened taxes on imports of European cars if his own trade demands are not met.
Looking at other elements of the ZEW survey, respondents’ expectations for the 19-nation eurozone also pushed into the positive, adding 7.0 points for a reading of 4.5.
But financial players’ view of the present state of both the German and eurozone economies worsened.
“The latest figures for new orders and production in German industry produce a picture of rather weak development in the business situation,” Wambach said.
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is widely expected to present on Wednesday updates that further reduce the forecasts for 2019 economic growth, after a drastic 0.8-point cut in January to just 1.0 percent.