Economic confidence in the euro area probably rose in August to the highest level in 17 months, adding to signs that the currency bloc’s recovery from a record-long recession is picking up pace.
An index of sentiment rose to 93.8 from 92.5 in the previous month, according to the median of 26 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The European Commission said Aug. 23 that consumer sentiment in the 17-nation euro zone increased to a 25-month high in August. Unemployment probably held at a record 12.1 percent in July, according to a separate Bloomberg survey.
Gathering momentum in the economy since it returned to growth in the second quarter has boosted European stocks, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 11 percent in the last two months, and companies from Germany to Ireland raising forecasts. Yet Europe continues to struggle with the legacy of a debt crisis now in its fourth year, including a jobless rate that’s forecast to stay above 12 percent through 2015.
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