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Compared to the last half decade, last year’s German GDP numbers came in strong. Is Germany’s strength a sign that Europe could be about to turn around and show signs of serious growth? Or is this an anomaly? Todd Buell and Paul Hannon write:

The pickup in growth across the eurozone in 2017 has made policy makers at the European Central Bank more confident that they will reach their inflation target over coming years. The central bank is cutting monthly bond purchases under a stimulus program known as quantitative easing to €30 billion ($35.8 billion) from €60 billion.

The acceleration in growth has been aided by a long-awaited rise in business investment, with Germany seeing a 3.5% rise in spending on plant and machinery in 2017.

Figures released by the European Union’s statistics agency Thursday indicated that was more widespread across the currency area as 2017 drew to a close. Eurostat said eurozone industrial production was 1.0% higher than in October, and 3.2% higher than in November 2016.

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