Investor sentiment in the euro zone improved in January to its highest level since August 2015 on expectations Trump's U.S. presidency will give a boost to an economic pick-up in the region. Sonia Legg reports.
German exports are on the up again, posting their biggest monthly rise for four and half years. Seasonally adjusted figures from the Federal Statistics Office were up 3.9 percent in November. Industrial production also rose 0.4 percent, according to the Economy Ministry. It was driven by a 1.5 percent jump in construction output. The second consecutive monthly increase puts Germany firmly back on a growth footing in the final quarter in 2016. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SINDEN, INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, SAYING: "Germany continues to outperform the rest of Europe and benefits obviously from a very weak euro which plays right into the hands of an export-led economy so the current situation in the euro zone suits Germany, it's not clear though whether it really suits everyone else within that currency grouping." But investor sentiment in the euro zone also improved in January. The Sentix index topped 18 points, up from 10 in December and its highest level since August 2015. Many see a Trump presidency boosting the region's economy, although there are still potential banana skins ahead. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SINDEN, INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, SAYING: "The third largest economy, Italy, is quite frankly in a terrible state, so unless central banks and politicians can rebalance the economic benefits of the euro I think that will remain under increasing pressure and nationalism within countries like Italy and France will continue to rise." That could well influence elections in both France and Germany later this year. But for now German business morale in particular is buoyant.