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Germany’s jobless rate hits record low, reflecting robust labour market

Germany’s jobless numbers dropped more than expected in May, pushing down the unemployment rate to a record low, data showed on Wednesday, reflecting the robustness of a labour market that has become a key driver of a consumer-led upswing.

The Federal Labour Office said the seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 11,000 to 2.358 million. That compared with an expected drop of 10,000 forecast in a Reuters poll.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.2pc in May, the Office said. That was the lowest since German reunification in 1990.

“Unemployment and underemployment have decreased again, employment within the scope of the social security system keeps rising and labour demand is still high,” Labour Office head Detlef Scheele said in a statement.

“The upward trend on the labour market is continuing, albeit at a slower pace than in the winter months,” he added.

The rock-solid labour market is likely to further boost consumer confidence and household spending in Europe’s biggest economy, which has seen domestic demand overtake exports as the main growth driver in recent years.

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