Spanish unemployment total falls
The number of people registered as unemployed in Spain has fallen, bringing some cheer as the country looks to emerge from recession in 2013.
Labour ministry figures show the registered jobless figure dropped by 59,094 in December compared with November, making for a rounded total of 4.8 million people listed as unemployed.
Spain is in the throes of its second recession in just over three years. Its economy has been battered by a collapse in the once-key property sector.
Over the whole year, some 426,000 people joined the unemployed ranks, an increase of 9.6% on 2011. Spain's unemployment rate was 25% at the end of the third quarter.
Germany's unemployment rate crept up to 6.7% in December due to seasonal factors and a more sluggish economy, but the labour market remained robust and the average number of people out of work last year was the lowest in more than two decades.
The unadjusted jobless rate rose from 6.5% in November, the Federal Labour Agency said. Some 2.84 million people were registered unemployed in Germany, Europe's biggest economy - 80,000 more than the previous month and 60,000 higher than a year earlier.
Germany's economy has enjoyed robust growth that kept down unemployment even as many debt-troubled European partners have seen output shrink and joblessness soar.
Still, the economy saw slower growth in 2012 than in previous years. Official growth figures for 2012 are due on January 15; the government has forecast growth of 0.8 %.