Eurozone Inflation Rises

The Eurozone saw a minor inflation rise up to 0.4% in October from the 0.3% it had in September which has issued some sort of hope that the possibility of deflation can be held at bay.

The services sector was the main area where the rise was emanating from as it showed an increase of 1.2% compared with a 1.1% rise in September yet the Eurozone’s unemployment rate remained the same at 11.5%.

The European Central Banks inflation target is 2% and currently inflation is close to, but not quite on, that mark which suggests good news although the slowdown in growth and the decline in the inflation rate has led to the suggestion that perhaps the bank should step up its stimulus measures with it already cutting its benchmark interest rate to 0.05% and starting an asset purchase programme.

Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, suggested the tiny inflation rise was comforting but only to a very small degree when he said:

“Nevertheless, October marked the 13th successive month that Eurozone consumer price inflation has been less than 1% and there is still a significant risk that extended very low inflation could ultimately morph into deflation, especially given weak oil prices and still muted Eurozone economic activity,”

Unemployment is down from the 12% level it was at in September of last year across the 18 countries that use the Euro, which is positive, but it still remains relatively high as more than 18.3 million people are without a job in the region and just over 24.5 million in the European Union as a whole.

Germany and Austria are the two countries who seem to be weathering the storm the best with low unemployment rates of 5% and 5.1% respectively but Greece is still stuck in a bit of a quagmire with unemployment at a whopping 26.4%, the highest proportion of jobless people in the European Union.

Eurostat said the number unemployed for those aged between 15 and 24 stood at 3.34 million in the Eurozone and just fewer than 5 million across the EU. Data was not given for the rate of youth unemployment in Greece, but Spain recorded the highest figure at 53.7%.

The Eurozone has slowly clawed its way back to growth since the economic crisis hit in 2008 but fears of deflation have been prevalent in recent months as unemployment remains relatively high but these latest figures show that there is some hope for a sustained period of growth should the stimulus measures put in place take a hold.

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