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German jobless rate falls again, retail sales data mixed

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German jobless rate falls again, retail sales data mixed
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German unemployment was down again in August as it has been every month for the last year.

The jobless rate – adjusted for seasonal factors – remained at 6.1 percent, the lowest level since reunification of the East and West in 1990.

“Demand for labour, measured by employment and registered vacancies, continues to be high,” Frank-Juergen Weise, head of the Federal Labour Office said in a statement.

The month-on-month fall of 7,000 was more than expected, reaffirming the strength of the country’s labour market.

That has fuelled private consumption which has become a major source of growth in Europe’s largest economy.

Retail sales mixed

There were also mixed signals from German retail sales data released at the same time.

The sector grew by 1.7 percent in July from June.

But an unexpected yearly fall – of 1.5 percent in real terms – dampened hopes that consumer spending can truly compensate for weakening foreign trade.

And economists tend to be wary of retail sales numbers which are volatile and prone to significant revisions.