Euro Crisis

Business Confidence Falling in Northern Europe

Cyprus fiasco not helping

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Falling confidence among companies in the euro zone's biggest northern economies in March suggests those nations are increasingly vulnerable to the problems afflicting the bloc's southernmost nations, a development that further undermines hopes for growth in the bloc's economy.

A worsening mood among businesses largely predated fraught negotiations over a Cypriot bailout, which economists say could stoke tensions surrounding the euro zone's debt crisis. Poorer sentiment among businesses lessens the chances of a rise in corporate investment, crucial for an economic recovery in the bloc at a time when most of its member states are cutting spending to control their debts.