German Unemployment Falls as Domestic Economy Shows Strength

Luxury Automobile Manufacture At Porsche AG's Factory

The number of people out of work declined by a seasonally adjusted 10,000 to 2.72 million, data from the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg showed on Tuesday.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
  • Number of jobless drops 10,000, in line with forecast
  • Unemployment rate remains at lowest level since reunification

German joblessness fell for a fifth month in February in a sign that economic momentum will continue to be underpinned by household spending.

The number of people out of work declined by a seasonally adjusted 10,000 to 2.72 million, data from the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg showed on Tuesday. That matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg Survey of economists. The jobless rate was unchanged at 6.2 percent, the lowest level since German reunification.

The reading bolsters the likelihood that domestic demand will support German growth even as a China-led emerging market slowdown curbs exports. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said last month that the economy is “in good shape” with stimulus coming from lower energy prices and higher spending in response to the refugee crisis.

“The labor market has continued to develop positively in the context of moderate economic growth,” Frank-Juergen Weise, president of the labor agency, said in a statement.

The number of people out of work dropped by 5,000 in each of western and eastern Germany, the report showed.

Employers are showing signs of nervousness about the outlook that could damp future employment growth. The Ifo measure of business confidence in the nation slid for a third month in February and the ZEW gauge of investor sentiment slumped to the lowest level since October 2014. German consumer prices dropped an annual 0.2 percent.

The European Central Bank is considering adding more monetary stimulus for the euro area to bolster price growth in the region, where inflation was also minus 0.2 percent last month. The Governing Council will review its stimulus package on March 9-10.

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