German unemployment rises less than expected in March

BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of people out of work in Germany rose less than expected in March, Federal Labour Office figures showed on Thursday.

The office said the number of unemployed grew by 4,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 2.719 million. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected that figure to rise by 10,000.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained stable at 5.9%.

“The economic downturn is still having an impact on the labour market. Overall, however, the labour market is holding up relatively well,” labour office head Andrea Nahles said.

There were 707,000 job openings registered with the labour office in March, 70,000 fewer than a year ago.

In their joint forecast on Wednesday, the leading German economic institutes said a robust labour market would support private consumption, with unemployment likely to rise only slightly and fall again starting from spring onwards.

Over the course of the year, the unemployment rate was likely to be 5.8%, falling to 5.5% next year, they said.

(Reporting by Reinhard Becker, Tristan Veyt and Hallican Soran, Writing by Miranda Murray, Editing by Rachel More)


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