A key index of business optimism on Friday reinforced what an increasing number of economists are saying: Germany is beginning to see an upswing -- even as the rest of the 17-country eurozone struggles with economic and financial turmoil over too much debt.
The Ifo institute survey of business executives published Friday edged up to 109.9 points from 109.8 the month before, beating market expectations of a slight decline. That follows an unexpected fifth straight monthly rise Wednesday in the ZEW index, which measures the outlook among investment professionals.
Both are leading indicators, suggesting where the economy might be headed in the next six months. Economists say these and other data mean Germany may now have avoided a recession and this year will easily outpacing the eurozone as a whole, which is expected to shrink 0.3 percent this year.