Europe's economy continues to confound economists. After a week which saw a slump in French business activity but German economic confidence at its highest level for 18 months, Joanna Partridge assesses the mixed signals coming from the euro zone.
REPORTER: More signs that German firms are powering ahead. The Ifo business confidence survey rose more than expected in November - hitting the highest level in over a year-and-a-half. It follows surprisingly good manufacturing and services data earlier in the week. The numbers also seem to show Europe's biggest economy is firmly on the road to recovery - and leaving some of its neighbours behind. Disappointing data from France has also highlighted how fragile and uneven the recovery is. And Europe's still seeing many protests - these French farmers complaining about rising taxes. Continued problems in some parts of the euro zone were acknowledged by European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi, speaking at a meeting of top bankers in Frankfurt.
MARIO DRAGHI, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: "It's important to understand interest rates are low because the economy is weak. If we raised rates, we would further depress the economy, people would lose their jobs."
REPORTER: The ECB recent rate cut to a new record low is intended to give stimulus to some of Europe's strugglers. That may also give Germany and its export-led economy a boost. But there are other countries which are a cause for concern, says Michael Gallagher from IDEAglobal.
MICHAEL GALLAGHER, MANAGING DIRECTOR IDEAGLOBAL: "Germany is obviously helping, but I think sort of critically, Italy and France not really getting to the point where you could call it a recovery yet. And with the Dutch economy also having some severe headwinds, two out of the big five euro zone economies are probably not enough to produce confidence in a sustainable recovery."
REPORTER: Spain also appears to have turned the corner - its long recession is over. The challenge for Spain and its neighbours will be to bring unemployment and debt down further. And that at a time of little growth or inflation.