A closely-watched gauge of investor sentiment in the Eurozone surged to a decade high in October, boding well for a region which has been struggling to shake off the shackles of a protracted period of slow economic growth since the financial crisis.

The Sentix Economic Index, which is based on a survey of 992 investors, rose by 1.5 points to 29.7 points in October when compared with September, according to the Frankfurt-am-Main-based research institute Sentix, which conducted the survey. Sub-indices assessing investors’ views of the current situation as well as future expectations also posted month-on-month gains, with the former rising by 2 points to 41.8 points while the latter advanced by 1 point to 18.3 points.

“Regardless of all the political currents in the Eurozone, investors see not only the core zone of Euroland in a better way in economic growth, but also increasingly the troubled countries of the south. This should increase pressure on the ECB[European Central Bank] to drive a more restrictive course in monetary policy,” Manfred Huebner, managing director of Sentix, said in the report.

The headline gauge of investor sentiment comes at a key time for Europe, less than a month after Germany’s Bundestag elections saw Chancellor Angela Merkel voted in for a fourth term in office, and as the European Union struggles to reassert its value as Britain, a key member, negotiates terms for a departure from the bloc.

Meanwhile, in the south, Spain, the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy, is facing a secessionist challenge from leadership in its northeastern region of Catalonia. How the situation plays out there, where it is considered the biggest constitutional crisis the country has seen in decades, could have implications for other countries which have separatist movements in the Eurozone.

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