Further pain for bloc as stats suggest economies faltering
Eurostat says that the number of eurozone unemployed reached a record high of 12.2 per cent in August and stayed there in September as the bloc’s much-trumpeted recovery failed to generate jobs.
The ranks of the jobless swelled by 60,000 to a record 19.45 million, according to the European Union statistics agency.
A particularly gloomy statistic was youth unemployment — it rose to 24.1 per cent from 24 per cent in August.
It was lowest in Germany and Austria, with 7.7 per cent and 8.7 per cent, and highest in Europe’s southern economies, which have been hit hard by enforced government austerity measures.
Youth jobless numbers sit at around 57 per cent in Greece and 56 per cent in Spain. The overall unemployment rate showed similar regional disparities. Germany and Austria had low rates of 5 per cent.
By contrast, joblessness was 26.6 per cent in Spain and in Greece it stood at 27.6 per cent.
A sharp drop in inflation also cast doubts over the recovery of the eurozone, which has supposedly just emerged from recession.
Eurostat said the annual inflation rate fell to 0.7 per cent in October from 1.1 per cent a month earlier, marking its lowest level in about four years.
The central bank has already cut its interest rate to a record low to encourage lending.
The ECB can provide more cheap loans to banks to encourage them to lend out.
But banks have absorbed the cheap loans to improve their own finances and their lending has remained virtually static.