In the euro area, the course seems to be set for a pick-up ineconomic momentum.

Unemployment in the 19-nation region remained at the lowestlevel in more than seven years in November as Germany reported asecond consecutive increase in industrial output and Frenchbusiness confidence improved. The data follow a survey ofpurchasing managers out last week that suggested the economy grewat the fastest pace since 2011 at the end of last year.

After months of muddling through, evidence is building that theeuro area has finally embarked on what European Central BankPresident Mario Draghi calls a “moderate but firming recovery.”Unemployment has been decreasing steadily, while a surge ineconomic confidence to the highest level in more than five yearssignals companies and households expect the recovery to continue ina year of political uncertainty.

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