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Consumption

GfK survey finds Germans upbeat on income and economy

Germans continue to look positively into the future, expecting their incomes to rise and the economy to grow. As a result, the forward-looking consumer climate index of GfK research group has hit a seven-year high.

German consumers' buoyant moods in recent months were set to spill over into March as they were expecting higher personal incomes and a robust economy in the coming month, GfK consumer research group announced Wednesday.

GfK's forward-looking Consumer Climate Index rose from 8.3 points for February to 8.5 points for March, hitting the highest level in seven years, GfK said.

"This positive development provides a good foundation for private consumption continuing to play a key role in economic growth this year,” GfK added.

The GfK index, which is based on responses from about 2,000 German households, gauges opinions about individual pay and the economy as a whole, as well as seeks to fathom consumers' willingness to spend.

German economy set for bigger growth

While views on economic development clouded slightly, consumers' propensity to spend remained unchanged. However, the sub-index gauging wage expectations climbed a staggering 2.4 percent to 48.6 points, marking the highest level in 13 years.

Earlier this week, the Ifo business climate survey also rose, reaching its highest level in more than two and a half years, and supporting hopes for a robust upswing in Europe's largest economy. Last year, Germany's economy grew by only 0.4 percent, but the government predicts 1.8 percent for this year.

uhe/hc (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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