Bloomberg News

Euro-Area Economic Confidence Gains for Second Quarter, Ifo Says

May 10, 2012

Confidence in the euro-area economy improved for a second straight quarter, driven by rising expectations for growth, Germany’s Ifo research institute said, citing its quarterly World Economic Survey.

An index measuring economic sentiment in the 17-nation currency area increased to 100.3 from 84.8 three months ago, Munich-based Ifo said in an advance copy of the WES, which it conducts with the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. While that’s the biggest increase in six years, Ifo said the index remains below its long-term average. A measure of current conditions rose to 114.7 from 109.1 and a gauge of expectations jumped to 91.8 from 70.5.

“The six-month outlook is significantly more positive than in the first quarter,” Ifo said. “However, the economic situation in the euro area is not homogeneous.”

Analysts judged the situation to be good in Germany and Estonia and not satisfactory in Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and France, the report showed. The worst assessments were given to Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Cyprus.

Inflation is forecast to average 2.4 percent in the euro area in 2012. Survey respondents expect short-term interest rates to remain stable over the next six months and the U.S. dollar to “strengthen somewhat” against the euro, Ifo said.

The second-quarter survey was based on responses from 279 economic experts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph de Weck in Frankfurt at jdeweck@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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