Europe

German optimism up in positive sign for Europe's recovery

The Eiserne Steg bridge is reflected in a puddle before dawn in  Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa via AP)

The Eiserne Steg bridge is reflected in a puddle before dawn in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A closely watched survey of German business optimism rose by more than expected in February in another sign that Europe's economic recovery is gaining pace.

The Ifo institute index rose to 111.0 points from 109.9 the previous month. Market analysts expected 109.7 points.

The Munich-based research institute surveys 7,000 businesses in Europe's biggest economy about their view of how things are right now and how the situation will develop in coming months. Sentiment had weakened slightly in January.

Ifo head Clemens Fuest said in a statement Wednesday that "after a restrained start to the year the German economy is again on a good path."