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Business

Economic mood in eurozone hits new high

The European Commission has pointed out the mood among business leaders in the eurozone is getting better and better. Its latest monthly sentiment index notched up one more time, reflecting growing optimism.

ARCHIV - Eine Mitarbeiterin der Friedr. Dick GmbH & Co. KG kontrolliert am 28.06.2011 in der Endfertigung in Deizisau (Landkreis Esslingen) Messer, Foto vom (28.06.2011). Das mittelständische Unternehmen stellt unter anderem Messer und Wetzstähle für die Fleischverarbeitung und die Gastronomie her. Foto: Marijan Murat dpa/lsw (Zu lsw Korr: «Messer vom Neckar: Arbeiten mit scharfem Gerät» vom 11.08.2011)

Deutschland Mittelstand F. Dick GmbH & Co. KG

The business community in the 17-member euro area was seen confident about future economic developments as the EU's executive on Friday released its latest monthly report on the sentiment among managers.

The Commission's Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose to 96.9 points in September, up from 95.2 percent in the previous month, thus marking the barometer's highest point in two years.

"The strong increase resulted from markedly improved confidence across all business sectors, whereby improvements in construction and retail trade were particularly pronounced," the report said.

Mixed picture

Confidence levels increased considerably in Spain, Italy and France, while they remained broadly unchanged in Germany after a marked increase in August.

The European Commission also presented its monthly Business Climate Indicator (BCI) which only showed a negligible upward change.

Improved sentiment among executives came on the back of the euro area leaving recession behind in spring, logging 0.3-percent growth after one and a half year of economic contraction.

But while the area as a whole has returned to the path of expansion, southern European member countries such as Spain and Italy are still fighting an uphill battle to get out of the woods while continuing harsh austerity measures aimed at reducing their public debt loads.

hg/hc (dpa, Reuters)