German unemployment rate remains stable at 5.5% in January
- Number of unemployed fell by 15,000
- Labour market is a source of resilience for German economy
- Small increase in unemployment rate expected -research firm
BERLIN, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Germany's unemployment rate remained stable in January, Labour Office figures showed on Tuesday.
The Federal Labour Office said the number of people out of work fell by 15,000 in seasonally adjusted terms. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected that figure to rise by 5,000.
The number of unemployed people in Germany fell to 2.5 million at the beginning of the year in seasonally adjusted terms. This is a five-month low, partly reversing some of the jump since June 2022, as Ukrainian refugees became eligible for jobless benefits, said Melanie Debono, senior Europe economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate stayed unchanged from the previous month at 5.5%.
The labour market has been an important driver of the economy's resilience over the last few years, said Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING.
"A combination of fiscal stimulus, furlough schemes and demographic change seems to have made the German labour market almost invincible," Brzeski said.
"The labour market remained stable at the beginning of the year," said Andrea Nahles, chairperson of the Federal Labour Office. However, she added that the effects of geopolitical and economic uncertainties are still evident.
The number of unemployed people in Germany rose to 2.6 million in January, in seasonally unadjusted terms.
There were 162,000 unemployed people more in January than in December and 154,000 more than a year ago, the labour report said.
The statistics office on Monday reported that Germany's gross domestic product declined by 0.2% in the last quarter of 2022.
With the German economy shrinking, prices of raw materials still high and banks continuing to tighten lending conditions for firms, Pantheon Macroeconomics said labour demand would wane and forecasted a small increase in the unemployment rate over the coming months.
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