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Investor optimism remains relatively unchanged in May

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Investor optimism across Europe improved marginally in May as more investors express confidence in the European economy, according to the Index of Investor Optimism® - EU 5, a joint effort of UBS and the Gallup Organization.

The overall Index reached a level of 28 points in May, up 2 points from 26 last month. Investor optimism about economic outlook is improving slightly, as 46 percent of those surveyed now feel optimistic about economic growth in the next twelve months, compared with 43 percent in April. Likewise, fewer investors, 45 percent, now express pessimism about the outlook for unemployment, compared with 50 percent in April.

Importantly, nearly half of all investors, 47 percent, say the European economy has hit bottom, a sharp increase from 40 percent in April, while 60 percent believe Europe will be in a recovery six months from now.

London, 28 May 2002
UBS AG