BERLIN (AP) -- German consumer confidence has soared to its highest level since October, bolstered by a strong labor market and new wage agreements, according to a closely watched survey released Monday.
The forward-looking GfK index rose to 5.9 points in May, up from a revised 4.8 points in April, as indicators climbed for the research group's economic outlook, income expectations and the propensity to buy.
''It is striking that all three indicators have gained significantly this month,'' the Nuremberg-based group said in a statement.
''Despite the persistent turmoil on the international financial markets and the high food and energy prices, German consumers appear to have regained their confidence once more.''
GfK said that the upswing in the job market and recent wage agreements have both contributed to overall expectations of the economy, and to people assessing their personal financial situations more positively.
''This shows that conditions have improved so that the economy recovery originally forecast to take place at the beginning of the year, although delayed, is now imminent.''
According to the survey -- based on around 2,000 consumer interviews conducted each month on behalf of the EU commission -- April's economic expectations were up to 23.3 points from 15.0 points in March.
Income expectations rose to 10.5 points from 1.5 points, while the consumption and propensity to buy index rose to minus 4.7 points from minus 10.2 points.
''The consistently positive development of consumer mood in April has led to a marked rise in the consumer climate for the first time since July 2007,'' GfK said in raising the May forecast to 5.9 points.
It was last higher in October 2007, at 6.7 points.
''Conditions have improved so that consumption should continue to recover throughout the rest of the year,'' the group said.