BERLIN: Confidence among German consumers is continuing to rise amidst falling unemployment and low inflation, according to the latest figures from the GfK Research Institute.

With the firm's forward-looking confidence indicator up to 5.5 points for December – the sixth rise in a row – the company confirmed its 0.5% forecast for private consumption growth this year and believes that a doubling of this figure to 1% in 2011 is "not an unrealistic expectation."

The public mood in Germany has been lifted by three crucial things – falling unemployment, the fear of skills shortages in the future and a moderate price climate.

Some companies have already announced the bringing forward of collective wage and salary increases from April to February, while others have promised one-off payments to their entire workforce.

With employers in more buoyant mood, employees are looking forward to greater scope for pay rises in the coming year and ultimately, more money in their pockets.

Data sourced from Associated Press; additional content by Warc staff