Economic confidence in eurozone reaches 17-year high: study

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The eurozone continues to enjoy strong economic momentum, a quarterly survey presented on Thursday by the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research shows.

The Ifo’s economic confidence index for the 19-member currency union rose by 8.8 points to 35.2 points in the third quarter of 2017.

“This is the highest value since the fall of 2000,” Ifo President Professor Clemens Fuest said. “The strong growth [experienced in the eurozone] should continue into the second half of 2017,” he added.

The GDP growth in the eurozone was 0.6 percent for the second quarter of 2017, just behind the United States and more than twice the rate recorded in the United Kingdom.

Ifo surveys 340 experts four times a year to gauge economic confidence in the currency bloc. Thursday’s results indicate both a more favorable view of the last six months as well as greater confidence looking towards the second half of the year.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain, the Eurozone’s four major economies, all posted improvements in terms of the assessment of the current situation as well as future expectations.

So far, strong eurozone growth has not been reflected in rising prices. The experts polled lowered their forecast for annual inflation from 1.6 percent to 1.5 percent.

After the euro rose sharply against the dollar last week, the Ifo study now expects a stable exchange rate for the remainder of the year.

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