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German consumer confidence continues to burn bright

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Consumer confidence in Germany continued to climb this month with growing expectations for economic growth and pay, a poll released on Tuesday found.

"Stable job market prospects and a moderate inflation rate boosted optimism again in July," market research company GfK said in a statement.

"Meanwhile the desire to make purchases has also surpassed its already high level and hit a new 18-month-high."

Consumer hopes for Europe's top economy were however only slightly above average, indicating an expectation that Germany's recovery would be marred by some setbacks.

GfK said these included ongoing troubles in eurozone partner countries and slowing growth in China, potentially hurting crucial German exports.

But pay expectations climbed for the fourth month running, due to the sunny economic outlook and a high employment rate.

"Germany is the only country in Europe in which joblessness has significantly declined compared to the time before the crisis in 2007," it said.

GfK's household confidence index was forecast to rise to 7.0 points in August from 6.8 points in July, a statement said.

GfK surveys about 2,000 households on their expectations about pay and the economy as a whole in the coming months, as well as their willingness to spend money.

Last week, the widely watched Ifo business climate index -- an important barometer of sentiment -- rose for the third month in a row as German companies appeared to shrug off recession across the eurozone.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130730/german-consumer-confidence-continues-burn-bright