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German unemployment jumps suddenly, inflation falls to 5-month low

Staff writer |
German unemployment increased unexpectedly in July and inflation slowed to a 5-month low on a sharp fall in energy prices, official data showed.

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The number of unemployed increased by 9,000 in July after rising 1,000 in June, the Federal Labor Agency said. It was forecast to fall by 5,000.

The jobless rate remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 6.4 percent in July as expected by economists. The rate has been at 6.4 percent since April, the lowest since the reunification of Germany.

Data from Destatis showed that the number of unemployed people increased to 1.98 million in June from 1.97 million in May. The ILO jobless rate came in at an adjusted 4.7 percent in June, the same rate as in the previous month.

Consumer price inflation eased marginally to 0.2 percent in July from 0.3 percent in June. This was the lowest rate since February, when it was 0.1 percent. Inflation was expected to remain at 0.3 percent.

Inflation based on the harmonized consumer price index remained unchanged at 0.1 percent in July as expected. Final data is due on August 13.

Month-on-month, consumer prices gained 0.2 percent and harmonized prices moved up 0.3 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent increase for consumer prices and a 0.3 percent rise for harmonized consumer prices.

Energy prices plunged 6.2 percent, bigger than a 5.9 percent fall in June. Food inflation slowed to 0.4 percent from 1 percent. Meanwhile, services cost climbed 1.1 percent after rising 0.9 percent.

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