German Unemployment Rises for a Fourth Month as Recession Deepens

German February unemployment rose sa 40K, lifting the jobless rate to 7.9% from 7.8%. We were looking for a rise of 45K and our median was 50K, so data were marginally better than expected, but the rise in the jobless rate was in line with consensus. Labor Agency spokesman Hammersen said this morning that morning, that unemployment rose due to the state of the economy and winter weather. Unemployment started to rise in December as the slump in export demand forced companies to cut back production and lay off staff. The rise in jobless figures will push up the government’s social security spending and further weigh on already weak consumption figures, even though so far confidence figures suggest that the positive impact from lower energy prices and government stimulus program is greater than the negative impact from rising unemployment.