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Low use of shortened work hours points to mild German recession - Ifo

FILE PHOTO: Facade lighting of landmarks reduced to save energy in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Low take up of a government-backed 'Kurzarbeit' shortened hours facility points to a "very mild" recession in Germany this winter, the Ifo economic institute said on Wednesday.

In December, the number of workers on shortened hours eased to 186,000 from a seasonally adjusted 188,000 in November, Ifo said, citing estimates it based on data from the Federal Employment Agency.

"The fact that short-time work remains at a low level seems to indicate that the expected winter recession will be very mild," Ifo researcher Sebastian Link said in a statement.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Maria Sheahan)