German jobless rate slides to 5.1 percent in May

Germany's unemployment rate slid to 5.1 percent in May as the labor market benefited from a traditional spring pickup and the country's robust economic performance.

The Federal Labor Agency said Wednesday that the unadjusted jobless rate — the headline figure in Germany — was down from 5.3 percent in April, with 2.315 million people registered as unemployed. That is down 68,000 on the previous month, and 182,000 lower than a year earlier.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate dipped to 5.2 from 5.3 percent, with 11,000 fewer people out of work than in April. That was marginally better than economists' forecast that the rate would remain static.

The German economy, Europe's biggest, has grown for 15 consecutive quarters.

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Statistical Office estimated that the country's annual inflation rate accelerated significantly in May, largely as a result of higher oil and fuel prices.

In a preliminary report, it said consumer prices were up 2.2 percent year-on-year in May, compared with 1.6 percent in April. That is the highest inflation rate since February 2017. Data from Germany are important for European Central Bank decisions on monetary policy.