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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Jan 31, 2015 - 3:21 AM

Eurozone annual inflation in January at -0.6%; Unemployment rate at 11.4% in December
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jan 30, 2015 - 3:51 PM

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Eurozone annual inflation is expected to be -0.6% in January 2015, down from -0.2% in December 20143 , according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union. Meanwhile the Eurozone (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.4% in December 2014, down from 11.5% in November 20144 , and from 11.8% in December 2013. This is the lowest rate recorded in the Eurozone since August 2012.

The EU28 unemployment rate was 9.9% in December 2014, down from 10.0% in November 2014 and from 10.6% in December 2013. This is the first time the rate for the EU28 has fallen below 10.0% since October 2011.

This negative rate for Eurozone annual inflation in January is driven by the fall in energy prices (-8.9%, compared with -6.3% in December). Prices are also expected to fall for food, alcohol & tobacco (-0.1%, compared with 0.0% in December) and non-energy industrial goods (-0.1%, compared with 0.0% in December). Only prices for services are expected to increase (1.0%, compared with 1.2% in December).

Core inflation, excluding energy, food, alcohol & tobacco, in the region slowed to 0.6% in January from 0.7% in December. That’s the lowest since the euro was introduced in 1999.

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

Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2014 were recorded in Germany (4.8%) and Austria (4.9%), and the highest in Greece (25.8% in October 2014) and Spain (23.7%).

Eurostat estimates that 24.056m men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.129m were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2014. Compared with November 2014, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 228,000 in the EU28 and by 157,000 in the Eurozone. Compared with December 2013, unemployment fell by 1.710m in the EU28 and by 693,000 in the single currency area.

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in December 2014 fell in twenty-four member states, remained stable in Belgium and increased in Finland (8.3% to 8.9%), Italy (12.6% to 12.9%) and France (10.2% to 10.3%). The largest decreases were registered in Estonia (9.0% to 6.6% between November 2013 and November 2014), Bulgaria (12.8% to 10.8%), Greece (27.8% to 25.8% between October 2013 and October 2014), Hungary (9.3% to 7.3% between November 2013 and November 2014) and Poland (10.0% to 8.0%). In December 2014, the unemployment rate in the United States was 5.6%, down from 5.8% in November 2014, and from 6.7% in December 2013.

The Irish rate was 10.5%.

In December 2014, 4.960m young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.289m were in the euro area. Compared with December 2013, youth unemployment decreased by 464 000 in the EU28 and by 168 000 in the euro area. In December 2014, the youth unemployment rate5 was 21.4% in the EU28 and 23.0% in the euro area, compared with 23.1% and 23.9% respectively in December 2013. In December 2014, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.2%), Austria (9.0%) and the Netherlands (9.6%), and the highest in Spain (51.4%), Greece (50.6% in October 2014), Croatia (44.8% in the fourth quarter 2014) and Italy (42.0%).

Youth unemployment explained 2013

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