News Summary: German business confidence rises

News Summary: Germany's Ifo index of business confidence rises, reinforcing growth prospects

Associated Press

POSITIVE DATA: A closely watched index of German business confidence rose for the fifth straight month in September, reflecting the improved prospects for Europe's largest economy and the 17-country euro currency union.

LEADING RECOVERY: Germany's economy expanded 0.7 percent in the second quarter, helping the eurozone return to growth after six quarters of recession. But recent figures for German industrial production and retail sales were disappointing, raising concerns about the third quarter. The latest data should dispel those doubts.

DRAGGED BY DEBT: The eurozone is still struggling with excessive levels of debt in several member countries, including Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. The region's economy expanded slightly in the second quarter, but unemployment remains at a record 12.1 percent.

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