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Germany: inflation rises, unemployment falls

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By Euronews
Germany: inflation rises, unemployment falls

<p>Inflation in Germany rose in February, reaching its highest level in four-and-a-half years, mainly due to more expensive energy and food.</p> <p>Consumer prices in the eurozone’s largest economy were up by 2.2 percent from a year ago, above the European Central Bank’s price stability target and up from January’s 1.9 percent.</p> <p>It was the highest annual inflation rate since August 2012.</p> <p>Core inflation – which strips out volatile fresh food and energy costs – was up 1.3 percent, an increase from January’s 1.2 percent. </p> <p>See a full breakdown <a href="https://www.destatis.de/EN/PressServices/Press/pr/2017/03/PE17_070_611.html;jsessionid=12F69BB435ECCE19439F195310ACF868.cae1">here</a></p> <p><strong>Bundesbank backlash</strong></p> <p>With federal elections set for September in Germany, the inflation figures are likely to fuel debate about an end to the European Central Bank’s stimulus through a loose monetary policy.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">ECB</span> has slashed interest rates and adopted a bond-buying programme worth 2.3 trillion euros to pump money into the region’s economy.</p> <p>A sustained rebound in German inflation gives Bundesbank President and <span class="caps">ECB</span> rate setter Jens Weidmann more grounds to argue for a reduction in the bond-buying programme, a scheme that he has often criticised.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pressure on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ECB?src=hash">#ECB</a> rises as German inflation has accelerated to 2.2% in Feb, highest level since Aug2012. <a href="https://t.co/F7yEPGCR8v">https://t.co/F7yEPGCR8v</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/welt"><code>welt</a> <a href="https://t.co/pAAGwj3cd6">pic.twitter.com/pAAGwj3cd6</a></p>&mdash; Holger Zschaepitz (</code>Schuldensuehner) <a href="https://twitter.com/Schuldensuehner/status/836927593714692096">March 1, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The German central bank has warned that homes in large German cities are 15 to 30 percent overpriced, in a message that stoked further fears about the side-effects of the <span class="caps">ECB</span>’s stimulus. </p> <p><strong>German unemployment falls</strong></p> <p>Unemployment in Germany dipped in February by more than expected.</p> <p>The jobless total fell by 14,000 to 2.592 million. That was the figure adjusted for seasonal factors like weather. </p> <p>The adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9 percent of the workforce, the lowest since German reunification in 1990.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">fastFT: German unemployment makes further strides in February <a href="https://t.co/vBdDwPmn1m">https://t.co/vBdDwPmn1m</a></p>— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/FinancialTimes/status/836865704171290624">March 1, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>“The labour market continues to develop positively,” Frank-Juergen Weise, head of the Federal Labour Office, said.</p> <p>“The number of people without work narrowed in February, insurable employment lies significantly higher than last year’s level and demand by businesses for new workers remains at a high level,” he added.</p>