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Unemployment in Germany declined unexpectedly in February and for a third consecutive month, suggesting that the economy has started to recover in the first months of 2013 after a contraction in the final quarter of 2012.
The number of unemployed declined by 3,000 in February from the previous month to 2.917 million, the Federal Labor Agency said Thursday. This was contrary to expectations for no change. In January, unemployment fell by a revised 14,000.
The jobless rate held steady at 6.9 percent for a fourth consecutive month in February, above the consensus forecast of 6.8 percent.
The Federal Statistical Office said earlier today that the unemployment rate in Germany remained unchanged at 5.3 percent on an adjusted basis in January. On the other hand, the unadjusted jobless rate rose to 5.9 percent in January from 5.3 percent in December, according to the statistical office.
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