A closely watched survey shows that business confidence in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has risen for the second month in a row as managers' outlook for the next six months brightens.
The Ifo institute said Thursday its monthly confidence index rose to 105.5 points from 104.7 in November. The increase was in line with economists' expectations.
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Ifo says managers' outlook for the coming six months improved while their assessment of the current situation was unchanged.
Recent data have showed a promising increase in German factory orders, though the country's central bank has cautioned that it expects only modest economic growth over the winter.
Earlier this week, a separate survey of investor confidence rose sharply thanks at least in part to falling oil prices and a weaker euro.