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Europe is changing. Here's how. A reported blog.

A tale of two nations: German optimism, British pessimism

German manufacturers say 2012 looks good, a new report predicts British unemployment rate will rise
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The euro may mean pain for some countries but it hasn't stopped Germany's star from continuing on the ascendant (BORIS ROESSLER/AFP/Getty Images)

If you are German what's not to feel good about? The euro zone may be under threat but it hasn't stopped your economy from rolling along. Der Spiegel notes: "it's been a record-breaking year for the German economy. This year, German companies exported goods worth over €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) -- the highest figure ever. The number of people in work has also risen to 41.6 million, more than ever before."

The Ifo index, which measures German business confidence, continues to rise and the Gfk consumer confidence is up, as well, according to the magazine. 

So, good times ahead.

In Britain the gloom continues to gather. The Daily Telegraph reports that there are now 23 people chasing every vacancy. This chimes with another cheery report in the paper quoting the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's prediction that another 210,000 people will be laid off in Britain during 2012.