Eurozone, EU economic confidence firms with signs of recovery
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Clouds of economic gloom across the eurozone lifted Wednesday, as analysts hailed tentative signs of recovery with the latest European Commission data showing rising optimism among business leaders and consumers.
For the third month running, the EU's eurozone confidence index rose markedly against a background of rapidly easing tensions over Europe's three-year-old sovereign and banking debt crisis.
The index gained 1.4 points from the December level to reach 89.2, against a long-term average of 100.
While European stock markets fell on news the US economy contracted in the fourth quarter of last year, the euro jumped above US$1.35 (S$1.7) on the brighter data from the euozone, traders said.