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German unemployment rate falls to record low in September

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s jobless numbers fell more than expected in September, pushing down the unemployment rate to its lowest level since German reunification in 1990, data showed on Friday.

The Federal Labour Office said the seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 23,000 to 2.303 million. That compared with an expected drop of 9,000 forecast in a Reuters poll.

The unemployment rate eased to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent in August, reflecting the strength of a labour market that has become the anchor of a consumer-led upswing.

“Unemployment and underemployment both fell significantly in September,” Labour Office head Detlef Scheele said. “The labour market continues to develop persistently well.”

Household spending has become the main source of Germany’s economic expansion as record-high employment, increased job security, above-inflation pay hikes and low borrowing costs all help open shoppers’ wallets.

A survey published on Thursday had shown that the mood among German shoppers has improved heading into October as shoppers’ incomes and economic expectations both rose, suggesting that consumers will keep feeding the growth of Europe’s largest economy.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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