ALLENSBACH, Germany: A wave of optimism, higher than any witnessed since 2000, is sweeping German consumers into 2007 according to the annual IfD Allensbach poll of 2,077 people of 16-years and over.

Forty-nine percent of the sample is optimistic about prospects for 2007, compared year-on-year with just 45%. Conversely, the latest poll shows 20% of Germans declaring themselves "pessimistic" and 23% "sceptical" about 2007.

The optimism of those living in western Germany has grown faster faster than those resident in the east of the country, where unemployment (16.7% in November) is double the western level.

The number of optimistic respondents in the west rose to 51% from 39% a year ago, whereas the increase in the east of the country increased by just seven percentage points to 42%.

Says the researcher: "In the past, the number of optimists at the end of the year has frequently been closely linked to the following year's economic developments." IfD hailed the latest findings as "certainly a good sign of a continuing economic recovery."

Data sourced from (Germany); additional content by WARC staff