Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

Yesterday, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Antonis Samaras, Greek Prime Minister and President in office of the Council of the EU, several members of the College of the EC and practically the entire Greek government participated in the inaugural meeting of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU in Athens. Ceremonies were brief and austere. (EC Audiovisual Services 8/1/2014)

Yesterday, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Antonis Samaras, Greek Prime Minister and President in office of the Council of the EU, several members of the College of the EC and practically the entire Greek government participated in the inaugural meeting of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU in Athens. Ceremonies were brief and austere. (EC Audiovisual Services 8/1/2014)

Eurostat, the EU statistical service, released yesterday some mixed data on Eurozone economic prospects. For one thing, euro area (EA17) unemployment rate was reported at 12.1% in November 2013, stubbornly stable at this high level since last April. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable since last May. However, retail sales marked a good upturn in November compared with October 2013, with an increase of 1.4% in the euro area (EA17) and 1.2% in the EU28. On a yearly basis, in November 2013 compared with November 2012, the retail sales index increased by 1.6% in the euro area and by 2.0% in the EU28. Let’s take one thing at a time.

Starting with unemployment, the percentage of workers without employment may appear stable for many months, but on a yearly basis the number of people without a job has increased. Eurostat states that in November 2013 “In both zones (Eurozone and EU28), the rates increased compared with November 2012, when they were 11.8% and 10.8% respectively”. It must be noted that during that twelve month period, the percentage of unemployed people increased faster in Eurozone, to 12.1% from 11.8% than in the EU28 (10,9% from 10.8%).

Millions without a job

Eurostat estimates that 26.6 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 19.2 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2013. Compared with November 2012, unemployment rose by 278 000 persons in the EU28 and by 452 000 in the euro area. Those last two numbers present a rather perplexing problem. How is it possible that the increase of the number of the unemployed people in the EU28, is much smaller than the relevant figure for the Eurozone of only 17 member states?

As everybody knows, Eurozone comprised 17 member states in November 2013, while the EU28 comprises 11 more countries. In the face of it, the increment of unemployment in the EU28 must be larger than the relevant figure for Eurozone. The only logical explanation for this puzzle must be the following. Despite the fact that the percentage of unemployment increased in both zones, the number of the unemployed in the 11 EU countries which didn’t belong then to the euro area (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden and United Kingdom), must have decreased by 174 000.

Now, the fact that the percentage of unemployed people in those 11 countries increased by 0.1 decimal point between November 2012 and 2013, doesn’t exclude the possibility that the absolute number of unemployed had decreased during the same period. Obviously, the number of the unemployed in those 11 countries increased slightly as a percentage of the working age population, but decreased as an absolute number.

More retail sales

Passing to the retail trade, the tangible increase of sales is a positive sign, unlike the persistently high unemployment rate. According to Eurostat in November 2013 compared with October 2013, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 1.4% in the euro area (EA17) and by 1.2% in the EU28. The same source announced that, “In November 2013 compared with November 2012 the retail sales index increased by 1.6% in the euro area and by 2.0% in the EU28”. It’s obvious that on a year to year account, the increase of retail sales is larger than the month to month rate. This is also a good sign for both the Eurozone and the EU28.

The retail trade sectors which performed better were the ‘Non-food products’. In this category belong the following items: textiles, clothing, footwear, electrical goods, furniture, computer equipment, books, pharmaceuticals, medical goods plus sales through mail orders and the Internet. On a yearly basis, the sales of those items increased by 2.4% compared to a 1.6% average for the entire retail sales sector. Sales of ‘food, drinks and tobacco’ marked only a 1.4% increase during the same twelve month period.

Developments in both those fronts that is employment and retail sales, are pointing to opposing directions, as far as growth prospects are concerned. However, in reality they justify those who argue that growth in Europe will be torturously slow during the next months and will have no visible effect on the labour market.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Trump ‘used’ G20 to side with Putin and split climate and trade packs

Portugal: €4.66 million in aid for 1,460 dismissed workers and jobless young

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

Security Council hails ‘historic and significant’ joint peace declaration by Ethiopia and Eritrea

Why private investment in deforestation-free commodity production needs to be scaled up

European elections: A chance to repel both nationalism and no-deal Brexit

Development aid drops in 2018, especially to neediest countries

UN Environment Assembly 2017: where the world convenes to #BeatPollution

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

Key economic forum in Russia: New technology a ‘vector of hope’ but also ‘a source of fear’ says Guterres

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

Voices of young climate action activists ‘give me hope’ says UN chief

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

These countries are ranked highest – and lowest – for human development

Brexit talks: 2nd round fails to bring the EU and the UK closer on key issues

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

Instability in Africa’s Sahel, spreading outwards, Security Council told

Emergency meeting called as Ebola spreads to Congolese city – UN health agency

We probably should go back to the therapy in Primary Healthcare

EU continues targeting on Chinese steel imports instead of the revival of its own economy

Thursday’s Daily Brief: impact of bad working conditions, Syria and Libya humanitarian news, human rights in Bahrain, families reunified in South Sudan

Is it too soon to hope for a tobacco free Romania?

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

“Austerity was not the alternative!”, President Hannes Swoboda of the European Socialists and Democrats on another Sting Exclusive

How fintech is making investment accessible

EU attempts to make new deal with Turkey as relations deteriorate

Data and the future of financial services

The completion of the European Banking Union attracts billions of new capital for Eurozone banks

3 ways AI will change the nature of cyber attacks

Commission’s spending totally uncontrolled

“ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Is there a drug for every disease?

Myanmar Government side-lining democratic reform, resorting to military era repression: UN expert

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

The Future of Retail: Changing shopping patterns will mean retailers need to invest in costly and complex solutions

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

FROM THE FIELD: Heeding the call for women’s rights around the planet

Inflation and interest rates indicate urgent need for action

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Trump blocks US warmongers from bombing Iran

Investment, not debt, can kick-start an entrepreneurial Europe

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

EU Banks still get subsidies from impoverished citizens

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn readies to change Brexit political backdrop

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

‘Once-in-a-generation opportunity’ will be squandered, warns Guterres, unless social, economic, environmental challenges are met

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

‘More time’ agreed for buffer zone, to spare three million Syrian civilians in Idlib

Countdown To GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 Is On

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

Here are three ways Africa’s youth are defeating corruption

Social, cultural diversity ‘an enormous richness, not a threat’ Guterres declares calling on investment for a harmonious future

MEPs and European Youth Forum call on EU to Invest in Youth

Crackdown on Christians in Eritrea spurs UN expert to press Government ‘to live up to its international commitments’

How can education empower youth to become tomorrow’s leaders

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s