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German Unemployment Declines in February

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German Unemployment Declines in February

Unemployment in Germany declined for a third consecutive month, a sign employers in Europe’s largest economy are growing more confident in recovery.

Germany’s unemployment count declined by a seasonally adjusted 14,000 to 2.914 million, after falling 28,000 the previous month, official data from Federal Statistics Office showed today. A median estimate of economists polled by Reuters said the number of people out of work would decline by 10,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.8 percent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, unemployment fell to its lowest level since September 2012, official data showed.

The latest unemployment figures point to deepening recovery in Europe’s largest economy. Earlier this week the CESifo Group said German business confidence rose to the highest level in two-and-a-half years, adding further credibility to domestic recovery efforts. On Wednesday the GfK institute reported the highest level of German consumer confidence since January 2007.

The German economy has proven resilient in recent years, having weathered multiple regional crises. The European Commission raised its outlook for Germany earlier this week, citing strong domestic demand. The German economy will expand 1.8 percent this year and 2 percent in 2015, the Commission predicted. That represents a 0.1 percentage point increase for both years.

Domestic demand was the lynchpin of German recovery in 2013, offsetting significant declines in the nation’s export market. German GDP expanded 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.3 percent annually, the Federal Statistics Office confirmed this week.

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