The German economy has come under the spotlight today with a number of key indicators suggesting it too may be in trouble, after being one of the Eurozone’s more resisitant members over the past 12 months.
The first figure to be scutinised is the unexpected rise in unemployment, a marginal rise after seasonal adjustment, but a rise nonetheless, after 26 straight months of rising employment.
Economists are suggesting the effects of economic reforms have hit a plateau, exacerbated by the current economic uncertainty. Franck Jurgen Weise runs the Federal Employment agency,
“Compared to last month the number of unemployed has fallen by 131 000, and compared to May 2006 there are 529 000 fewer jobless. After seasonal adjustments, there’s a slight rise of 4000 out of work”.
Parliament has to grapple with a 16 percent increase of the euro against the dollar and a near record oil price when determining policy, but finance minister Peer Steinburg maintains business confidence remains high, even if the latest figures on consumer confidence are worse than expected.
It is a job to see clearly through the statistical murk at the moment, with contradictory economic reports coming almost daily, but the economy minister insists Germany is “well positioned”…that is unless the oil price leaps again.