Ger­man un­em­ploy­ment hits new low

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Un­em­ploy­ment in Ger­many sank in Oc­to­ber to a new low since uni­fi­ca­tion in 1990, of­fi­cial data showed yes­ter­day, as Europe’s top econ­omy sur­prised an­a­lysts with a ro­bust out­look. An­a­lysts polled by fi­nan­cial ser­vices group Fac­tset had pre­dicted the Oc­to­ber job­less fig­ure to come in at 6.1 per­cent, but an eco­nomic uptick in the au­tumn de­liv­ered bet­ter than ex­pected num­bers. Un­em­ploy­ment now stands at 6.0 per­cent-the low­est level since West and East Ger­many re­united in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall the pre­vi­ous year.

“Along with the au­tumn re­cov­ery, job­less­ness has dropped sharply while em­ploy­ment has risen again, and de­mand for work­ers is also up,” said Frank Weise, who heads the Fed­eral Em­ploy­ment Agency. In ab­so­lute num­bers, the num­ber of peo­ple reg­is­tered as un­em­ployed fell by 68,000 from Septem­ber to 2.54 mil­lion. The em­ploy­ment agency said “the eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors, which are cur­rently point­ing up­wards, sug­gest that the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment will con­tinue.” Ris­ing salaries and low en­ergy costs have con­trib­uted to boost­ing do­mes­tic con­sump­tion and growth in Ger­many.

Mean­while, Ger­man new car sales saw a sharp dip in Oc­to­ber after two months of strong growth, of­fi­cial data showed yes­ter­day. A 5.6 per­cent fall in reg­is­tra­tions com­pared with the same month last year saw just over 262,700 new cars hit the tar­mac, the KBA trans­port author­ity re­ported. The agency had recorded in­creases in Au­gust and Septem­ber of 8.3 and 9.4 per­cent in Europe’s largest car mar­ket, boosted by in­creased con­sump­tion by pri­vate house­holds.

Reg­is­tra­tions over the whole year re­main pos­i­tive, with a to­tal of 2,818,507 cars reg­is­tered in Ger­many from Jan­uary to Oc­to­ber, an in­crease of 4.9 per­cent over the same pe­riod in 2015. Oc­to­ber’s data saw fewer new reg­is­tra­tions for all Ger­man car­mak­ers. Scan­dal-hit Volk­swa­gen, which in Septem­ber 2015 ad­mit­ted to in­stalling emis­sions cheat­ing soft­ware on 11 mil­lion cars world­wide, re­tained the largest share of the mar­ket at al­most 19 per­cent for its own-branded cars. But at al­most 50,000, it sold just un­der 20 per­cent fewer ve­hi­cles than in Oc­to­ber last year. Over the whole year to Oc­to­ber, Volk­swa­gen sales were down by 3.0 per­cent, worse than the 1.0 per­cent fall recorded over the year to Septem­ber. Lux­ury car­maker Porsche, a VW sub­sidiary, was the only other Ger­man brand to suf­fer a dou­ble-digit fall in sales in Oc­to­ber, los­ing 13.3 per­cent to land at 2,276 units. Mean­while, VWowned Audi’s sales fell 2.9 per­cent, Daim­ler-made MercedesBenz fell 3.5 per­cent, and BMW lost 2.4 per­cent. —Agen­cies

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