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News Summary: Econ data shows eurozone steadier

The Associated Press

SIGNF OF LIFE: The euro area's economy is showing modest signs of improvement, as new figures Wednesday indicated more consumer optimism and steadier bank finances.

NOT SO FAST: Weak demand for bank loans, however, made it clear the recovery was still some way off. Sentiment in industry and the retail trade remained broadly flat.

THE PREDICTION: The European Central Bank expects the economy to shrink 0.3 percent throughout the course of 2013, but to make a modest recovery later on in the year.