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Good News in US, Means Good News in Europe

The number of unemployed in America sunk last month, spurring an upswing in European stock markets on Friday.


An active job search has paid off in some cases as the US unemployment rate dips.

A 0.1 percent increase in the number of people employed in America, was enough to encourage European stock markets to some of their highest gains so far this year.

The US Labor Department reported that 66,000 jobs were added in the month of February. That, and seasonal hiring, allowed a slight depend in the percentage of unemployed, from 5.6 to 5.5 percent.

The news sent both the US Stock Market and ist neighbors across the Atlantic rising. Europe’s benchmark index, the FTSE, rose to ist highest mark since December 6. In Germany, it was the embattled Neue Markt that benefitted most from the data, rising 2.86 percent to 1,078.14 points.

"Once again, good economic data out of the USA has inspired the German stockmarket," one trader told the financial newspaper Handelsblatt.

The results continue to confirm what German government officials have been maintaining all along: only a US economic recovery can turn the country’s fortunes around.

German politicians could only look with envy at the US percentages. The 5.5 percent is far lower than the 10.4 percent without a job in Germany, according to statistics released this past week.

The numbers caused another round of partisan bickering in the country. Germany’s ruling center-left Social Democrats and Green party said the 4.3 million unemployed were a much lower number than expected and were bound to turn around before the end of the year.

The opposition Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union, who are behind Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s opponent in this year’s election, presented the statistics as further evidence Schröder’s government was failing.

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