German consumer confidence has risen unexpectedly before Christmas.
The GfK research group said its forward-looking consumer climate indicator for January rose to 4.5 points, up from 4.4 in December.
It was the first time the figures have risen since August, and was higher than the 4 points forecast by many analysts.
The group said that there was a broad improvement in spending plans, with Germans expecting to pick up big-ticket items such as televisions.
"Consumers seem intent on abandoning their reluctance to spend of recent months," GfK said.
According to Andreas Scheuerle, an economist at Dekabank, the figures showed that a "willingness to buy increased strongly" amongst consumers.
"This gives rise to hope that consumption will gradually live up to its role as a driver of the economy," he added.
The report came a day after Germany's Ifo institute reported that its closely watched measure of business confidence slid to its lowest point since January 2006.
GfK said that consumers still remained edgy about turmoil in financial markets. ( BBC )