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Jan 28, 3:21 AM EST

German consumer confidence at 13-year high

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BERLIN (AP) -- German consumer confidence is at a 13-year high, buoyed by a rise in disposable income due to collapsing fuel and heating oil costs.

The GfK research group said Wednesday its forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 9.3 points for February from 9 points the month before.

GfK says dropping energy prices have driven `considerable increases in both income expectations and willingness to buy." Consumers also regard the lower fuel prices as a key economic stimulus which, combined with a drop in the euro's value, "should boost not only exports but also companies' willingness to invest."

The survey of some 2,000 consumers showed economic expectations rose to 22.5 in January from 14.5 points in December, income expectations up to 47.8 from 41 and willingness to buy up to 57.4 from 49.1.

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