German consumers' sentiment remained at seven-year high level into April, said a market research institute on Wednesday, warning that escalation of Crimean crisis might unsettle consumers' mood in coming weeks. GfK said its forward-looking German consumer sentiment indicator, based on a survey of 2000 consumer interviews, was expected to stay at 8.5 points in April, following the same level in March. "Consumers in Germany still believe that the economy is on the road to recovery," said the Nuremberg-based institute in a statement. Favorable expectations for global growth, and positive investment prospect driven by low interest rate supported German consumers' optimism towards economic outlook of the Europe's largest economy, it said. The survey was conducted in prior of Crimea's referendum in March 16th that decided to be independent and to join Russia, thus didn't reflect the impact of the event. "However, it cannot be ruled out that this event will unsettle consumers in the coming weeks, particularly with regard to their economic outlook, " said the institute, adding that if the Crimean crisis escalated further, and more stringent sanctions from western countries were posed, "a negative effect on the consumer mood would be very likely". Earlier this week, Munich-based Ifo institute found in its recent survey that German business morale in March was sapped by the events in Crimea. Corresponding indicator fell slightly after four consecutive monthly increases. According to GfK, German consumers' income expectation and willingness to buy in March remained at high levels, thanks to stable labour market, moderate inflation and low interest rate. Pay talks this year was expected to help increase wages by three percent and state pensions increase should outpace inflation in 2014. "Private consumption will therefore once again be a reliable pillar of the economy this year," said the institute, confirming its previous prediction that private consumption would grow by 1.5 percent in real terms.