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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Feb 1, 2013 - 3:21 PM


Eurozone inflation dips to 2% in January 2013; Unemployment stable at 11.7% in December
By Finfacts Team
Feb 1, 2013 - 3:18 PM

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The Eurozone (EA17) consists of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK).

Eurozone annual inflation is expected to be 2.0% in January 2013, down from 2.2% in December 2012, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate3 was 11.7% in December 2012, stable compared with November. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.7%, also stable compared with November. In both zones, rates have risen markedly compared with December 2011, when they were 10.7% and 10.0% respectively.

Looking at the main components of Eurozone inflation, energy (3.9% compared with 5.2% in December) is expected to have the highest annual rate in January, followed by food, alcohol & tobacco (3.2%, stable compared with December), services (1.7% compared with 1.8% in December) and non-energy industrial goods (0.8% compared with 1.0% in December).

Eurostat estimates that 25.93m men and women in the EU27, of whom 18.71m were in the Eurozone, were unemployed in December 2012. Compared with November 2012, the number of persons unemployed was nearly stable in both the EU27 and the Eurozone. Compared with December 2011, unemployment rose by 1.76m in the EU27 and by 1.80m in the Eurozone.

Among the member countries, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.3%), Germany and Luxembourg (both 5.3%) and the Netherlands (5.8%), and the highest in Greece (26.8% in October 2012) and Spain (26.1%).  Ireland's rate was 14.7%  --  absent emigration, it would have been over 20%.

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in twenty member states and fell in seven. The largest decreases were observed in Estonia (12.1% to 9.9% between November 2011 and November 2012), Latvia (15.7% to 14.1% between the third quarters of 2011 and 2012) and Lithuania (13.7% to 12.3%). The highest increases were registered in Greece (19.7% to 26.8% between October 2011 and October 2012), Cyprus (9.7% to 14.7%) and Spain (23.2% to 26.1%).

Between December 2011 and December 2012, the unemployment rate for males increased from 10.5% to 11.6% in the Eurozone and from 10.0% to 10.7% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate rose from 10.9% to 11.8% in the Eurozone and from 10.1% to 10.7% in the EU27.

In December 2012, 5.70m young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.62m were in the Eurozone. Compared with December 2011, youth unemployment rose by 237 000 in the EU27 and by 303 000 in the Eurozone. In December 2012, the youth unemployment rate was 23.4% in the EU27 and 24.0% in the Eurozone, compared with 22.2% and 21.7% respectively in December 2011. In December 2012 the lowest rates were observed in Germany (8.0%), Austria (8.5%) and the Netherlands (10.0%), and the highest in Greece (57.6% in October 2012) and Spain (55.6%).

The calculation of the youth employment rate excludes youth in full-time education. So Spain's rate of 55.6% does not mean that more than half of Spaniards under 25 are unemployed.

In December 2012, the unemployment rate in the USA was 7.8%. In Japan it was 4.1% in November 2012.

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