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Business

German consumer confidence surpasses pre-crisis levels

German consumers have remained optimistic about the money they will have in their pockets to spend on goods and services. A fresh study showed their confidence hit a new high.

Consumer confidence in Europe's biggest economy climbed again for August, the GfK think tank reported on Tuesday. It surveyed 2,000 households on their expectations about pay and the economy as a whole and their willingness to spend money.

The researchers' benchmark index rose to 7 percent for August, after hitting 6.8 percent for July. GfK officials said the mood among German consumers was thus better than way before the global financial crisis started in 2008.

"Consumers continue to deem it wise to make big purchases," the think tank announced in a statement released in Nuremberg, explaining that many saw no point in saving money with interest rates being at record-low levels.

Better off than others

Pay expectations climbed for the fourth month in a row, mainly because of a rosy economic outlook and a continuously high employment rate in the country.

"Stable job market prospects and a moderate inflation rate boosted optimism in July again," the market research company commented, adding that Germany was the only country in Europe in which joblessness had significantly declined compared to the time before the crisis.

GfK warned, though, that consumers' hopes for the domestic economy were only slightly above the average, indicating fears that the recovery process could be marred by some setbacks, caused by more troubles in eurozone partner nations or slowing growth in China, affecting crucial German exports.

hg/mkg (dpa, AFP)