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Survey shows unexpected increase in German business confidence as fears over Greece subside


BERLIN — A closely watched survey shows that business confidence in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has unexpectedly increased as fears over the Greek debt crisis subside.

The Ifo think tank said Tuesday that its monthly confidence index rose to 108.3 points for August from 108 in July. Analysts had predicted a slight decrease to 107.6 points.

Companies' outlook for the coming months, however, fell.

The Ifo index is considered an early indicator for Germany's economy. Each month some 7,000 companies are asked for their assessment of the current economic situation and their outlook for the coming months.

Separately, Germany announced a budget surplus of 21.1 billion euros ($24.26 billion) in the first half of the year on healthy tax revenue and a windfall from the sale of cellphone frequencies.

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