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News Summary: German central bank sees 2Q gains

The Associated Press

POSITIVE SIGNS: Germany's central bank expects the country's economy to improve "markedly" in the second quarter. Germany grew only 0.1 percent in the first quarter in part because cold weather delayed the construction season.

HOPE: The bank said construction activity will catch up and there is "reason to hope" that companies will start investing in machinery and equipment to meet increased demand, which is key for a recovery. Industrial orders unexpectedly rose in March by 2.2 percent, where a decline was expected.

GROWTH CONTAGION: Stronger German growth could help the eurozone climb out of its recession. The European Central Bank expects a gradual recovery in the second half of the year.