Business

German unemployment falls by more than expected in March

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Image caption German unemployment fell by more than expected in March

German unemployment fell by more than expected in March as the economy was boosted by the mild winter weather.

The number of people registered as unemployed fell by 12,000 to 2.901 million, after accounting for the impact of seasonal variations, the Federal Labour Office said.

Analysts had pencilled in a smaller fall of around 7,500. The improvement takes the unemployment rate to 6.7%.

The Labour Office said "the very mild winter weather" drove the pick-up.

"Prospects are looking better for the unemployed," said Labour Office chief Frank-Juergen Weise.

Christian Schulz, economist at Berenberg Bank, said the figures showed "the German labour market is well on track".

He said the stronger labour market could lead to higher wage increases, noting recent strikes by pilots and public sector workers pointed to employees' strength in wage negotiations.

The German government's panel of independent economic advisers last month raised its 2014 growth forecast to 1.9% from 1.6%, following weak growth of 0.4% last year.

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