German unemployment rise less than expected


German unemployment rose less sharply than expected in December.

In west Germany, the total number of jobless rose an adjusted 11,000 from November, while in east Germany it fell 5,000, the sources said.

However, despite the surprisingly benign rise, economists are not expecting a recovery in the German economy before the second half of this year.

The DIW economic institute cut its forecast for 2002 growth to 0.6 per cent, from 2.3 per cent, saying recovery should pick up strongly towards the end of the year, assuming the US recovery kicks in soon.

HWWA, another of the country's six leading economic think tanks, said it expected the economy to grow by 0.7 per cent this year.

The latest rise takes in unemployment takes the total to 3.943m, and the rate to 9.6 per cent. Analysts expect further jobless increases in coming months to take the total to above 4 million.