NUREMBERG - Consumer confidence within Europe's largest economy rose to its highest point highest in nearly five years as German households showed increased willingness to spend.

Researcher GfK's confidence index - a survey of around 2,000 people that aims to forecast household spending one month in advance - climbed to 7.8 in June, its highest level since November 2001. This compares with a revised 7.0 in May.

Export-driven economic growth is driving company investment and creating new jobs, while consumer optimism received a further boost from Germany's biggest fall in unemployment this year. Business confidence in May reached a 15-year high.