German unemployment up

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The Independent Online
German unemployment up

Unemployment in Germany rose in April, casting further doubt on its ability to meet economic convergence criteria for the single European currency in 1999. Figures from the Federal Labour Office showed that unemployment rose by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 4,299,000. While politically sensitive unadjusted unemployment fell from 4,477,000 in March to 4,347,000 in April, giving a jobless rate of 11.3 per cent, economists called the figures disappointing.

Hans Guenter Redeker at Chase Investments said: "The figures will put more pressure on the government, throwing their forecast for a 2.9 per cent [ratio of 1997 budget deficit to gross domestic product] yet further into question." Industry orders for March showed a greater-than-expected rise of 1.1 per cent compared with February. Domestic orders rose 0.7 per cent in March from February but were down 4.2 per cent from a year earlier.