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German Unemployment Falls For Second Month

German Unemployment Falls For Second Month
7/31/2013 6:05 AM ET

The number of unemployed in Germany declined for a second consecutive month in July, reaffirming the robust labor market situation in the country, the latest figures released by the Federal Labor Agency revealed Wednesday.

The number of unemployed fell by 7,000 persons in July from a month earlier to 2.93 million. Economists had forecast no change in the unemployment figure.

In June, the number of unemployed fell by 13,000, revised from a fall of 12,000 reported initially.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at a two-decade low of 6.8 percent in July. This matched economists' forecast. The unadjusted rate rose to 6.8 percent from 6.6 percent.

In a separate report on Wednesday, the Federal Statistical Office said that Germany's adjusted ILO jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.4 percent in June.

According to the statistical office's labor force survey, the number of unemployed was 2.32 million in June, which represented an increase of 98,000 from June 2012. Compared with May, the number of unemployed rose by 69,000.

The statistical agency also reported today that German retail sales surprised on the downside in June, falling a seasonally and calendar adjusted 1.5 percent month-on-month in real terms. However, sales are expected to improve with the onset of summer.

Meanwhile, German consumer confidence is tipped to reach its highest level in almost six years heading into August, a survey by market research group GfK showed Tuesday. Robust labor market situation, rising income expectations and strong willingness to purchase were the major drivers of German optimism.

Further, confidence among German businesses rose for a third straight month in July, the Ifo Institute said in a survey published last week.

The economy expanded 0.1 percent in the first quarter recovering from a contraction in the final quarter of 2012. However, the Bundesbank said in a report earlier this month that it sees stronger signs of a slowdown in growth in the third quarter after a solid expansion in the second quarter.

by RTT Staff Writer

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