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German consumer sentiment hits 6-year high

By MarketWatch
German consumer sentiment has hit its highest level in almost six years, as a robust labor market and rising wages are boosting households' income prospects and their economic outlook
The GfK's forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator rose for the sixth straight month, to 6.8 points in July from 6.5 in June, hitting its highest level since September 2007 and beating economists' forecast for an unchanged reading of 6.5 points
While GfK's overall consumer climate indicator refers to July, all sub-indicators refer to the current month
"Optimism appears to be unbroken," GfK said in its monthly survey, confirming an earlier estimate that German private consumption will grow by about 1% this year in inflation-adjusted terms
GfK said that both households' income expectations and their economic outlook further improved in June, while the propensity to save hit its lowest level since the German reunification, when pan-German records start
"In view of the historically low interest rates, saving is not attractive," GfK said
The GfK sub-indicator for income expectations increased for the third straight month, to 36.2 points in June from 33.9 in May, underpinned by a stable labor market and rising wages
The measure of economic expectations, meanwhile, rose to 1.1 points in June, above its long-term average of zero but below last June's level of 3.0 points
"The main factor currently preventing stronger momentum is the lack of positive signals from abroad," with the euro zone mired in recession, GfK said
The roughly 2,000 consumers polled by GfK each month also remained upbeat in terms of bigger purchases
The corresponding sub-indicator slipped to 36.5 in June from 37.7 in May, but remained well above its long-term average of zero

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