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German Unemployment Rises, Factory Orders Slump

It was further bad news for Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Thursday following reports from two government departments on the state of the labor market. The Federal Labor Agency released a report that showed that German unemployment rose to a seasonally adjusted 26,000 from January to 4.29 million, increasing for the second month in a row. In a separate report, factory orders were shown to have unexpectedly fallen, adding to signs that a recovery in Europe's largest economy is slow to come. Manufacturing orders dropped 2.0 percent, led by a decline in exports, the Economics Ministry said in Berlin. It was the first fall in eight months.