German unemployment fell for a fourth month in March as companies became more confident in the health of Europe’s largest economy.
The number of people out of work decreased by a seasonally-adjusted 12,000 to 2.9 million, after falling a revised 15,000 the previous month, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said today. Economists forecast a decline of 10,000, according to the median of 31 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The adjusted jobless rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent after being revised down the prior month to the lowest level in at least two decades.
Falling unemployment in Germany is supporting domestic consumption just as a recovery in the rest of the euro area, the country’s biggest trading partner, bolsters exports. The Bundesbank says the German economy probably strengthened “substantially” in the first quarter, after an expansion of 0.4 percent in the three months through December that beat economists’ estimates.