BERLIN (Reuters) - Investor sentiment in the euro zone improved in January to its highest level since August 2015 on expectations that Republican Donald Trump's election to the U.S. presidency will give a boost to an economic pick-up in the region.

The Frankfurt-based Sentix research group said on Monday its euro zone index rose to 18.2 points from 10.0 points in December. The January reading surpassed the consensus forecast for 12.5 in a Reuters poll of analysts. <EUSTCS=ECI>

"With Donald Trump's election as new U.S. president, the (growth) trend is gaining an additional tailwind," Sentix said of the euro zone, which it added had been on the up since mid-2016.

In the United States, expectations of heavy spending under Trump to create jobs in the Rust Belt states that swung the election his way have helped lift consumer sentiment to multi-year highs.


Sentix said investors viewed the euro zone's current conditions particularly favorably, with a sub-index rising to 16.5 - its highest reading since July 2011 - from 8.3 in December.

Expectations for economic developments in the euro zone also improved, rising to 20.0 from 11.8.

An index tracking Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, rose to 33.1 in January from 27.8 in December.

The results chime with the last reading on German business morale from the Ifo economic institute, which said its business climate index rose in December to its highest level since February 2014.

Sentix polled 976 investors between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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