Eurozone inflation slowed in November to a five-year low of 0.3% as the European Central Bank is expected to launch a full-scale quantitative-easing QE bond-buying program in early 2015. Meanwhile teh jobless rate in Germany was the lowest in Europe in October.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, reported that energy prices fell 2.5% in November from a year earlier. Crude oil has plunged more than 30% to a four-year low and core inflation, which strips out volatile items such as energy, food, tobacco and alcohol, stayed at 0.7%.
Meanwhile, the Eurozone EA18 seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in October 2014, stable compared with September 2014, but down from 11.9% in October 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.0% in October 2014, also stable compared with September 2014 and down from 10.7% in October 2013.
Eurostat estimates that 24.41m men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.39m were in the Eurozone, were unemployed in October 2014. Compared with September 2014, the number of persons unemployed increased by 42,000 in the EU28 and by 60,000 in the Eurozone. Compared with October 2013, unemployment fell by 1.55m in the EU28 and by 547,000 in the Eurozone.
Among the member countries, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Germany 4.9% and Austria 5.1%, and the highest in Greece 25.9% in August 2014 and Spain 24.0%.
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in October 2014 fell in twenty-two member countries, increased in five and remained stable in Luxembourg. The largest decreases were registered in Hungary 10.0% to 7.3% between September 2013 and September 2014, Portugal 15.6% to 13.4%, Spain 26.0% to 24.0%, Bulgaria13.0% to 11.1% and Greece 27.8% to 25.9% between August 2013 and August 2014, and the highest increases were registered in Italy 12.3% to 13.2% and Finland 8.3% to 8.9%.
Ireland's rate was 10.9% and 5.1% in the UK in August.
In October 2014, the unemployment rate in the United States was 5.8%, down from 5.9% in September 2014, and from 7.2% in October 2013.
Youth unemployment: In October 2014, 4.98m young persons under 25 were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.36m were in the Eurozone. Compared with October 2013, youth unemployment decreased by 504,000 in the EU28 and by 141 000 in the Eurozone. In October 2014, the youth unemployment rate was 21.6% in the EU28 and 23.5% inthe Eurozone, compared with 23.3% and 24.0% respectively in October 2013. In October 2014, the lowest rates were observed in Germany 7.7%, the Netherlands 9.7% and Austria 10.0%, and the highest in Spain53.8%, Greece 49.3% in August 2014, Italy 43.3% and Croatia 41.5% in the third quarter 2014
While youth unemployment rates of over 50%, are shocking, the reality is not as bad as that figure suggests - according to Eurostat, when for example youth in Greece who are in third level education are excluded from the denominator, the rate of 55.3% in 2012 becomes an unemployment ratio of 16.1%; Spain's falls from 53.2% to 20.6%.
Youth unemployment explained 2013