Consumer confidence in Germany hit its highest level in December 2013 since April 2007, market research group Gfk said Friday. Consumer confidence, which was 7.4 points in December, is expected to rise to 7.6 points in January, indicating a good start for 2014, the Nuremberg-based institute said in its monthly report. German consumers are more optimistic about the economy than anytime since July 2011, the report said. The German economy was expected to grow by 0.5 percent this year, and by 1.7 percent in 2014. Analysts say private consumption will continue to be the main driving force, while investment stimulated by a record low interest rate and a more certain EU and global economic outlook, will start to pick up. In December 2013, Germans, traditionally known as savers, were more willing to open their wallets than anytime since December 2006, thanks to a stable labor market, a moderate inflation and the low interest rate, according to the report. In the current Christmas season, Germans are expected to spend 80.6 billion euros (about 109.8 billion U.S. dollars), 1.2 percent higher than in the previous year. Germans' expectation for their future income, however, declined slightly in December. GfK said the drop could be due to Germans fearing their finances will be burdened by the new government's plan to increase mothers' pensions and allow certain workers to retire early at the age of 63.