GERMAN employment soared in December, despite the devastating repercussions of the Eurozone crisis.
Official statistical body Destatis yesterday revealed that 291,000 more German residents were in employment in December 2012 than during the same month a year before, bringing the total to 41.8m.
Unemployment declined 77,000 as well, bringing the total to 2.25m, or 5.3 per cent of the economically active population.
More welcome news came from the banking sector, with credit constraints on German trade and industry down 0.8 percentage points according to Ifo, the economic research institution. Now just 20.3 per cent of German firms report restrictive credit policies from banks.
And this continued employment and credit market improvement came despite a drastic drop in retail turnover – down 4.7 per cent in real terms over the same period, also according to Destatis.
But German strength was set against weakness in yesterday’s data regarding the rest of the single currency bloc.
French household consumption inched down 0.1 per cent in volume terms between the third and fourth quarters, despite the impact of Christmas. Spending on manufactured goods fell 0.8 per cent – the biggest fall since 1993.
Spanish data was less downbeat, with inflation creeping down and tourism edging up. The consumer price index for Spain grew 2.6 per cent in the year to January, according to Ine, the official statistical body, down from 2.9 per cent in December and November.
A separate release from Ine showed that December also enjoyed a 1.1 per cent increase in stays in tourist accommodation.