(AP) A closely watched index of German business confidence rose for the fifth month in a row in September, reflecting the improved prospects for Europe's largest economy and the 17-country euro currency union.
The Ifo institute's index, released Tuesday, edged up to 107.7 points from 107.6 in August. Market analysts had expected it to rise slightly more, to 108.0
The index is based on a survey of 7,000 companies about how they think the situation is now, and how they see things going in the coming months. Economist Carsten Brzeski at ING said the results showed the economy was "stabilizing at a high level."
Germany's economy expanded 0.7 percent in the second quarter, helping the eurozone return to growth after six quarters of shrinking output. But recent figures for industrial production and retail sales have been disappointing, raising concerns that the third quarter may not be as strong.
Brzeski said the Ifo figures should dispel those doubts.
"Today's Ifo provides further evidence that fears about a sharp slowdown of the German economy in the second half of the year were overdone," he wrote in a note to investors.