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Unemployment up and inflation down in Europe

It is estimated that annual inflation in the Eurozone (EZ15) amounted to 1.1% in January 2009. In December 2008 inflation stood at 1.6% as compared to December 2007. However, the unemployment rate in the Eurozone increased to 8.0% in December 2008 following 7.9% in November.

In the EU27 unemployment amounted to 7.4% in December 2008 as compared to 7.3% in November. According to Eurostat, there were in total 17.9 million unemployed people in the EU27 in December 2008, 12.5 million of them in the Eurozone.

In comparison with November 2008 unemployment increased by 309,000 in the EU27 and by 230,000 in the Eurozone. As compared to December 2007 unemployment grew by 1.7 million in the EU27 and by 1.4 million in the Eurozone.

Among EU member states unemployment was lowest in the Netherlands (2.7%) and Austria (3.9%) and highest in Spain (14.4%) and Latvia (10.4%).

In nine EU member states unemployment fell over the past year, rose in fourteen and remained unchanged in four member states. Unemployment decreased most in Poland (from 8.2% to 6.5%) and Slovakia (10.3% to 9.4%). It grew most in Spain (from 8.7% to 14.4%) and Estonia (from 4.1% to 9.2%).

In the USA and Japan unemployment amounted to 7.2% in December 2008 and 3.9% in November 2008 respectively. GERMAN