German economy index slightly better than expected

Germany's Ifo index of optimism rises slightly more than expected

Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- A closely watched index of German business optimism rose slightly more than expected in July.

The Ifo institute's business climate index rose to 106.2 from 105.9 in June. Market analysts had expected 106.1.

The third monthly increase in a row provides more evidence Germany remains on track to rebound from a lackluster performance in the last months of 2012 and the first quarter of this year.

First-quarter growth was only 0.1 percent but the country's central bank says figures will show it grew "strongly" in the April-June second quarter. Official data are due out Aug. 14.

The Germany economy, the largest in the 17-country euro currency union, will be a key factor as the eurozone struggles to get out of a recession that has lasted six straight quarters.

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