Confidence surge in Italy and Germany

HOPE returned to firms and consumers in the Eurozone in March, with survey data showing increasing confidence in Germany and Italy.

Shares rose on the upbeat stats, with the DAX up 1.2 per cent and the Eurostoxx 50 up 0.57 per cent.

German business sentiment rose for the fifth month in a row to 109.8, from 109.7 in February, on the Ifo index.

“This suggests the economy remains resilient,” said Capital Economics’ Jennifer McKeown. “The index measuring expectations now suggests growth should remain around the fourth quarter’s healthy rate of two per cent.”

Meanwhile consumer confidence jumped in Italy, according to national statistics body Istat.

The index rose from 94.4 in February to 96.8 in March – also the highest in eight months.