European Economic Confidence Rose in First Quarter on Outlook, Ifo Says

Economic confidence in the euro area rose in the first quarter after two consecutive declines, led by an improvement of expectations for the next six months, the Ifo research institute said, citing a survey.

An index measuring the economic climate in the 17-nation euro region increased to 84.8 from 83.7 in the fourth quarter, the Munich-based institute said in an e-mailed statement today. A gauge of current conditions fell to 109.1 from 128.7, while an indicator measuring expectations rose to 70.5 from 57.4.

“The indicator is still well under its long-term average,” Ifo said. “Ireland, Luxembourg and Slovenia were the only countries with positive expectations.”

While uncertainty over a way out of the debt crisis has undermined the recovery, European services and factory output strengthened in January. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has said 2012 will be a “much better” year.

Euro-area inflation will average 2.3 percent this year, the 288 economic analysts surveyed said. The participants expect a further loosening of the ECB’s monetary policy in the next six months, according to the report.

Ifo will publish its World Economic Survey on Feb 16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Black in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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