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Survey index of German investment professionals rises for third month in a row

Investment professionals' optimism about the German economy rose in February in another sign that the country may avoid a recession.

The ZEW institute survey out Tuesday rose to 48.2 from a 31.5 figure in January. It was the third monthly increase in a row and more than the 36 points expected by market analysts.

The institute asked 272 investment professionals about their view of how things will go in the next six months.

Germany's economy shrank 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, and a second drop in the first quarter of this year would meet a common definition of recession. But many economists think the dip was only temporary and that the economy will quickly return to growth.