Berlin: German unemployment fell by more than expected in December and the jobless rate held at its lowest level since reunification in 1990, putting Europe’s largest economy on a solid footing going into the new year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment total fell by 14,000, figures from the Federal Labour Office on Tuesday showed. The drop was more than double the 6,000 forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
The unemployment rate remained at a record low of 6.3 per cent, cementing expectations that private consumption will support economic growth this year.
Statistics Office data on Monday showed that favourable economic conditions and an influx of foreign workers last year boosted employment in Germany to its highest since reunification.
Germany saw a record influx of migrants last year, with 1.09 million entering the country according to one newspaper, though the Labour Office has said many of the new arrivals are not yet in work.
In other positive news for German consumers, inflation unexpectedly slowed in December and the rate for the whole of 2015 fell to its lowest level on record, boosting the purchasing power of households enjoying record employment and rising wages.
A survey on Monday showed that German factory activity rose in December to its highest level in four months, suggesting manufacturers have not been fazed by a slowdown in emerging markets.
Germany’s BGA trade federation said on Tuesday the biggest risk for 2016 is Eurozone countries failing to learn the lessons of the currency area’s debt crisis.