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Euro rose strongly Thursday after German unemployment fell sharply for a second straight month in March, pushing the jobless rate down to 7.1%, its lowest level since figures for a unified Germany were first published two decades ago.
In a sign that demand for labour remains robust in Europe's largest economy, the Federal Labour Office said unemployment fell by 55,000 in March after a drop of 54,000 in February.
Data from the Federal Statistics Office showed an unexpected 0.3% drop in real retail sales for the month of February in a sign rising prices, driven by high oil, may be tempering consumer demand.
Annual inflation in Germany has pushed up to 2.2%, when harmonised according to EU standards, and consumer prices in the broader 17-nation euro zone jumped 2.6% in March compared to the year before, data on Thursday showed.
The European Central Bank is expected to respond to rising price risks next week by raising its benchmark interest rate from a record low 1.0%.
Today's focus will be on Jobless Claims report after a strong ADT data yesterday.
On Wednesday a private report showed U.S. companies added 201,000 jobs in March, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve may curtail its debt buying.
The private report precedes the Labor Department’s nonfarm payroll numbers to be released April 1. U.S. payrolls added 190,000 in March, according to the median estimate of economists.