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Business

German business confidence rebounds after October skepticism

There has been a surprisingly strong jump in confidence among German business leaders after a setback in October. A leading think tank said corporate expectations were high as the eurozone crawled out of its debt crisis.

The mood in German boardrooms picked up considerably in November, a closely watched monthly barometer by the Munich-based Ifo economic research institute showed Friday.

According to the institute, the overall benchmark index rose to 109.3 points this month, up from 107.4 points and far above the forecasts of most analysts, who had only penciled in a slight improvement.

The November result was once again based on a poll of some 7,000 executives who were asked about their expectations for the coming six months as well as about how they would assess the current business environment in the country.

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"The German economy looks to the winter months with a lot of confidence," Ifo chief Hans-Werner Sinn said in a statement.

The subindex, which gauges companies' half-year expectations, climbed to 106.3 points from 103.7 points in October, marking a strong rebound from last month's drop in confidence levels.

"Companies have left their October skepticism behind in a convincing manner," KFW Chief Economist Jörg Zeuner remarked, adding their regained optimism was well-founded. "Domestic demand has been picking up for quite a while, and the foreign trade environment is also showing signs of improvements, including the European home markets."

hg/mkg (dpa, Reuters)

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