Euro zone sentiment rises for 6th straight month in February

BERLIN Mon Feb 4, 2013 11:07am GMT

People make their shopping at a supermarket in Lisbon August 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

People make their shopping at a supermarket in Lisbon August 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Euro zone sentiment improved for a sixth consecutive month in February with expectations rising to their highest level since June 2007, before the financial and debt crises, Sentix said on Monday.

The research group said its monthly index tracking investor sentiment in the 17-nation currency bloc climbed to -3.9 in February from -7.0 in January, compared to a Reuters consensus forecast of -3.0.

"The overall index shows that the euro zone economy is about to grow again," Sentix said in a statement, adding that it expected the index to move into positive territory soon, probably next month.

"Investors have needed quite a long time to recognise that since last summer (with ECB and politicians' statements on the euro ...) a fundamental and positive change has taken hold," it added.

A sub-index of expectations rose to 15.8 in February, its highest level since June 2007, from 12.0 in January. Current conditions rose to -21.8 in February from -24.3.

A separate index for Germany showed sentiment rising to 24.3 in February, its highest level since July 2011 and up from 17.7 with expectations jumping to 22.1 from 14.6.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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