Rising German consumer confidence boosts recovery hopes

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Consumer confidence has risen more than expected in Germany, boosting hopes of a recovery in Europe's top economy, the GfK research group said on Tuesday.

GfK said its consumer confidence index for May rose to 3.8 points from an upwardly revised 3.4 points for April.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected the index, which looks forward a month, to remain unchanged.

"Signs that the German economy is recovering are getting stronger. And consumers are taking them increasingly seriously, as their improved optimism shows," the institute said in a statement.

GfK warned that rising fuel prices could yet crimp consumer demand but noted that both economic and personal income expectations had improved among the roughly 2,000 people surveyed, with the latter at a nine-year high.

"German households are becoming increasingly optimistic about the economic recovery," said Alexander Koch, an economist at Unicredit.

© 2010 AFP

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