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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

German Employment and Unemployment September 2007

According to provisional results of the Federal Statistical Office, the number of persons in employment in Germany and whose place of residence was Germany was approximately 40.05 million in September 2007, that was 676,000 persons more (+1.7%) than in September 2006. The number of persons in employment hence continued to increase strongly thanks to a good short-term economic trend and a positive development on the apprenticeship market.

Compared with the previous month of August 2007, the number of persons in employment was up by 341,000 (+0.9%) in September 2007. Seasonally adjusted, that is upon elimination of the typical seasonal fluctuations, employment rose by 36,000 persons in September 2007 on the previous month.

The employment/population ratio, that is the share of persons in employment in the total population aged 15 to 64 years, was 70.7% and thus continued to be above the European employment target agreed to be achieved in line with the so-called Lisbon Strategy by 2010.

In addition to calculating the number of persons in employment for reference month September 2007, the monthly and quarterly employment data published so far were recalculated back to February 2007 as part of the regular revision of national accounts, taking account of all sources of employment statistics now available. Altogether, the recalculation required changing the previously published monthly employment figures by a maximum of 0.1%.

Apart from the usual employment reporting, the Federal Statistical Office is now providing again an extended range of monthly unemployment data according to the internationally comparable ILO concept. The new time series is based on additional monthly processings of data from the Europe-wide harmonised labour force survey. This is the first time that monthly unemployment data are available for Germanyfrom that statistics which is carried out in a harmonised form at the EU level. For further information please refer to the methodical explanations at the end of this press release.

According to the results obtained by the method described there, a seasonally adjusted 3.51 million persons were unemployed in September 2007. That was a decrease by 600,000 (–14.7%) from September 2006. Accordingly, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate harmonised according to the EU definition – measured as the share of unemployed in the total labour force – was 8.1%, which was considerably lower than a year earlier (9.6%).

German Retail Sales September 2007

According to provisional data from the Federal Statistical Office, turnover in retail trade in Germany in September 2007 was down in nominal terms 1.2% and in real terms 2.2% when compared with September 2006. And this included one extra day, since the number of days shops were open for sale was 25 in September 2007 and 26 in September 2006.

When adjusted for calendar and seasonal variations, the September turnover was in nominal terms 2.6% and in real terms 2.3% larger than that of August.

Compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, retail during the first nine months of 2007 was down 0.9% in nominal terms and 1.6% in real terms than during the first nine months of 2006.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Germany Factory Orders August 2007, Construction PMI

Well despite the fact that someone claims they have not enough data to make a judgement, evidence continues to mount of a slowdown in the eurozone and particularly in the key German economy. So, for those of you with a strong stomach, here is a bit more. First off, new factory orders in Germany, where manufacturing orders rose less than many economists had forecast in August after the euro's gains seem to be making exports less competitive while domestic spending follows its now traditional flat pattern..

Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, rose 1.2 percent from July, when they dropped 6.1 percent, the Economy and Technology Ministry announced at the end of last week, based on data from the Bundesbank. The July decline, which was revised up from a 7.1 percent drop, was still the largest since at least September 1991. Particularly striking was the 10% drop in foreign orders noted in July over June.

As can be seen the level of orders has fallen back considerably from the, admittedly, very high level achieved in June.

If we now look at the construction PMI we can see a similar picture:

As can be seen, given that 50 is the dividing line between contraction and expansion, construction has been in contraction since February.

If we now take a quick glance at the manufacturing PMI:

We will see that while the German manufacturing sector is still expanding, the rate of expansion has been slowing steadily since the spring. I would say all the pointers are now there to show that a rapid slowdown is taking place in the German economy.