Dec 19, 3:53 AM EST

German consumer confidence rises with expectations of increasing economic strength

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BERLIN (AP) -- German consumer confidence is continuing to improve, supported by expectations of increasing economic strength and a greater willingness to make purchases.

The GfK research group said Friday its forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 9 points for January from 8.7 points in December.

GfK says consumers still have uncertainty over ongoing international crises in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine as well as the Ebola epidemic, but "currently assume that the phase of economic weakness in Germany will be temporary and are expecting their domestic economy to return to growth over the coming months."

The survey of some 2,000 consumers showed a strong increase in economic expectations in December to 14.5 points from 1.6 the previous month and an increase in the willingness to buy, but a drop in income expectations.

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