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German index brushes off US debt-ceiling debate

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- A closely-watched measure of German economic optimism increased more than expected in October despite worries that the U.S. could default on some of its debts in the coming days.

The ZEW index, published Tuesday and based on a survey of investment analysts, rose to 52.8 from 49.6 the month before. Analysts had expected a more modest rise to 51.0.

The survey underlines strengthened prospects for Germany, Europe's biggest economy. Germany has been key to the 17-country eurozone's recent recovery from its longest-ever recession.

Much of the near-term outlook for the world economy rests on whether President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress can agree to raise the U.S.'s legal debt ceiling. If the ceiling is not raised, the U.S. could fail to make debt payments on time.