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German consumer confidence heads higher

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — German consumer confidence is continuing to rise on the back of a strong labor market and the prospect of more robust economic growth, a survey showed Tuesday.

The GfK research institute said its forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 7 points for August from 6.8 in July. That's the highest level since September 2007, when the index hit 7.3 points.

"The continued stability of employment prospects and a moderate rate of inflation caused optimism to rise," the GfK said.

Recent economic data have bolstered expectations that the German economy, Europe's biggest, is on track to rebound from a lackluster performance over the winter.

Germany's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in June, which contrasts sharply with other countries that use the euro, such as Greece and Spain, where the jobless rate is over 25 percent.

Germany's Federal Statistical Office said the country's annual inflation rate ticked up to 1.9 percent in July from 1.8 percent the previous month. It pointed to a 5.7 percent increase in food prices and a 2.8 percent rise in energy costs.

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