Eurozone Unemployment Hits Another Record High
At present, the five euro countries at the forefront of the debt crisis â¿¿ Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Portugal â¿¿ are in recession. Others could well join them in the months to come.
The currency bloc's powerhouse economies, such as Germany and France, have also seen growth levels fall in the last year and that's increased pressure on businesses to cut costs. Industrial conglomerate Siemens AG, for example, announced Friday it would cut another 4,700 jobs, though not all in Germany.
Germany's unemployment rate in October was unchanged at' 5.4 percent. France's was steady too, albeit at nearly double Germany's at 10.7 percent.
Separately, households got some good news in Eurostat figures showing the annual inflation rate in the eurozone fell by more than anticipated to a 23-month low of 2.2 percent in November from 2.5 percent the previous month.Since it was a preliminary estimate, no reason for the fall was given but waning labor market pressures to lift wages are likely to have been, at least partially, behind the fall. "We think inflation could fall quite a bit further over the next year or so in response to the spare capacity in the economy, helping to ease the squeeze on households' real incomes," said Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics. "But whether that will get them spending in an environment of austerity and rising unemployment is another matter." Despite the November decline, inflation is still above the ECB's target of keeping price rises at just below 2 percent. Few economists think the ECB will cut its main interest rate from the current record low of 0.75 percent at its monthly policy meeting next Thursday. ____ Don Melvin in Brussels and Greg Keller in Paris contributed to this story
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV