Mercedes upbeat on signs U.S., China picking up

STORY: Mercedes-Benz struck a more upbeat tone alongside its first quarter results on Friday (April 28).

It said demand in China and the United States was showing signs of picking up.

That as markets recover from inflation and supply chain shocks.

The group said that in Europe, demand was still sluggish.

But over the coming months, it expects that to improve as well, as consumer confidence improves.

In February the company warned it expected lower earnings this year, due to costs and inflationary pressures.

But on Friday it lifted outlook for returns from its vans unit.

The Stuttgart-based firm also said it expected to hit the higher end of its cars forecast, at 14%.

That came after it reported group earnings of over $6 billion for the first quarter, and better-than-expected profit margins.

The company said that global growth is likely to remain subdued - but inflation is gradually declining and energy prices are stabilizing.