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Business

German Industry Optimistic

After three years of empty order books, Germany's industrial companies are starting to feel more confident about economic growth in the coming year. Production could rise as much as 2 percent, according to the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, which surveyed more than 11,500 companies. The Federation of German Industries also has hopes for 2004. As the building sector is expected to stabilize after years of negative growth, this should have positive effects on the economy as a whole, according to the organization.