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Germany

German consumer confidence picks up

A leading German market research company has found Germans are in the mood to shop again amid signs that the worst of the eurozone crisis may be behind them. Stable employment has also helped to boost confidence.

Market research company GfK said on Tuesday consumer confidence among Germans was set to pick up in February. Its monthly index was forecast to edge up to 5.8 points next month from a revised 5.7 points in January.

"Despite the current economic slowdown, Germans continue to expect an increase in income over the coming months," GfK said in a statement.

Confidence levels were also boosted, GfK said, because many Germans felt the eurozone's protracted debt crisis might soon be a thing of the past.

Better off than others

"Currently, there are few negative reports relating to the sovereign debt crisis, so Germans are once again focusing on the generally pleasing domestic state of affairs," the research company said.

Analysts had expected the index to be slightly lower, but were not really surprised at the results of the GfK's survey of about 2,000 households.

"While many consumers in peripheral eurozone countries are currently eating up their savings to make ends meet, Germans are still in shopping mood," said ING Bank economist Carsten Brzeski.

hg/msh (dpa, AFP)