August 30, 2018 / 8:12 AM / 20 days ago

German jobless total falls, employment hits record high

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s jobless numbers fell further in August and employment reached a record high in July, data showed on Thursday, underlining the strength of a labour market that has become the anchor of a consumer-led upswing in Europe’s largest economy.

A general view shows the city skyline seen from west to east Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The Federal Labour Office said the seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 8,000 to 2.330 million. That was in line with an analysts’ forecast in a Reuters poll.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.2 percent, the lowest since German reunification in 1990.

In a further positive sign, seasonally adjusted employment as measured by the International Labour Organisation climbed to a record 44.7 million in July, separate data released by the Federal Statistics Office showed.

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 on Wednesday showed, however, that the mood among German shoppers dipped for the second month in a row heading into September as income expectations fell, signalling a possible cooling of the economy in the third quarter.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Andrea Shalal

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