Germany's Ifo Institute, a leading center for economic research, has released its latest business optimism survey, and the results have surpassed expectations. These latest findings suggest that despite sluggish overall economic growth in the past two quarters, Germany may be able to improve without falling into recession.

The monthly survey polls 7,000 business executives and gauges their sentiment about the country's current performance, as well as where they see it going in the next six months. The Institute's main optimism index rose to 102.4 in December, the highest it has been within the past five months, and 0.4 points higher than expected. Since 2010, the results have ranked above 100, signifying that business sentiment has become more positive than negative.

Following the survey, as well as beliefs that the U.S. government may be closer  to a fiscal cliff agreement, the euro has already responded positively. It rose 0.2% on Wednesday, trading at more than $1.32 to the dollar.

The article German Business Optimism Survey Beats Expectations originally appeared on Fool.com.

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