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Euro-Area January Manufacturing Contracts Less Than Estimated

Euro-area manufacturing output contracted less than estimated in January, adding to signs the currency bloc’s economy is beginning to emerge from a recession.

A gauge of manufacturing in the 17-nation euro area rose to 47.9 from 46.1 in December, London-based Markit Economics said today. That’s above an initial estimate of 47.5 on Jan. 24. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. The gauge has been below 50 for 18 months.

Euro-area economic confidence in January rose to highest level since June, with sentiment among manufacturers also at a seven-month high. The currency area’s economy will stagnate in the first three months of this year after contracting for a third successive quarter at the end of 2012, according to the median of 26 economists’ forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

SAP AG, the biggest maker of business-management software, on Jan. 23 forecast at least a 12 percent gain in full-year earnings as the company adds Internet-based programs to attract users.

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