German data suggest eurozone economy still on upward path

A police boat speeds over the river Main as the sun sets in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, May 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

FRANKFURT, Germany — A closely watched survey of German business executives' optimism was unchanged in May after five straight monthly drops, offering a hopeful sign that Europe's economy is still growing strongly.

The Munich-based Ifo institute said Friday its index stayed at 102.2 points, the same as in April.

The 19-country euro currency union has seen a string of less than impressive economic data in the first three months of this year, after finishing 2017 strongly. The question on people's minds is whether it's just a return to more normal levels of growth or signs of an approaching downturn.

Economist Carsten Brzeski at ING Germany said that "after weeks and months of disappointing data from Germany and the entire Eurozone, today's Ifo reading brings some relief."

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