The number of people out of work in Germany unexpectedly fell in October, underlining the strength of the job market in Europe’s largest economy.
The total of unemployed people decreased by 22,000 to 2.887 million and the jobless rate held steady at 6.7 percent of the workforce in data adjusted for seasonal factors such as weather.
The statistics provided some welcome upbeat news after a slew of weak economic indicators. Industry orders, output and exports have all recently plunged at their steepest rate since the height of the global financial crisis in 2009.
At the same time we learned that annual inflation in Germany slipped to 0.7 percent in October.
That is well below the European Central Bank’s target for close to but just under 2.0 percent over the medium term in the eurozone.
Carsten Brzeski, senior economist at ING, said: “With Germany still having these relatively low inflation numbers, the eurozone as a whole will continue flirting with deflation.”
Preliminary eurozone inflation data, due out on Friday, is expected to show the annual rate increasing to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent, according to a Reuters poll.
The ECB considers anything below 1.0 percent to be in its “danger zone” for deflation.