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Financial News: German Unemployment Falls, Eurozone Jobless Rate Lowest In

German Unemployment Falls, Eurozone Jobless Rate Lowest In Over A Decade

09/30/2019 - 09:38:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Germany's unemployment unexpectedly dropped in September and in the wider Eurozone, the jobless rate fell to its lowest in more than a decade, despite the dismal performance of the crucial manufacturing sector in the region that has painted a weaker outlook for the economy, raising calls for stimulus.

The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed decreased by 10,000 persons to 2.276 million, figures from the Federal Employment Agency showed on Monday, while economists were looking for a rise of 5,000.

The initially reported jobless increase of 4,000 registered in August was revised down to 2,000.

The jobless rate was unchanged at 5 percent in September, in line with economists' expectations. The unadjusted jobless rate eased to 4.9 percent from 5.1 percent.

In Eurozone, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent from 7.5 percent in July, Eurostat said. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged.

The latest unemployment rate was the lowest since May 2008, Eurostat said. In August 2018, the jobless rate was 8 percent.

In August, the number of unemployed in the euro area were 12.169 million, down 115,000 persons from July and by 960,000 from a year ago.

The youth unemployment rate in the euro area was 15.4 percent in August versus 16.8 percent in the same month last year.

"The economic downturn continued to reflect in the [German] labor market in September," the Federal Employment Agency CEO Detlef Scheele said. "All in all, the job market is still in a robust condition."

A measure of employment by the ifo Institute rose in September, suggesting increased hiring by German companies. The ifo Employment Barometer climbed to 98.9 from 98.1 in August, the think tank said.

"However, the dynamism of the labor market remains weak," ifo said.

The ifo survey found that the latest increase in jobs were driven by service providers, with hotels and restaurants in particular trying to hire more staff, and by the increasing demand for management consultants.

The retail sector saw stability in employment, while the construction sector continued to witness strong demand for labor, thanks to the ongoing boom.

Meanwhile, jobs continued to cut in the industrial sector. "There isn't a single bright spot in employment development in any of Germany's most important industrial sectors," ifo said.

Elsewhere on Monday, data from Destatis showed that German retail sales grew 0.5 percent on a monthly basis in August, partly reversing a 0.8 percent drop in July. The agency also reported that the ILO jobless rate was 3.1 percent in August, unchanged from July.

Further, Destatis released the preliminary data for September consumer price growth. Germany's consumer price inflation slowed for a second straight month in September to 1.2 percent, its lowest since February 2018.

Energy prices decreased 1.1 percent annually after a 0.6 percent rise in the previous month. Food inflation slowed to 1.3 percent from 2.7 percent.

The EU measure of inflation slowed for a third consecutive month. The harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, rose 0.9 percent year-on-year in September after a 1 percent increase in August. Economists had expected 1 percent price growth.

The latest HICP inflation rate was the highest since November 2016, when it was 0.8 percent.

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