Weak EU GDP marginally beats expectations, unemployment remains at record lows
Gross domestic product in the 19 countries that share the euro grew 0.2 percent in the period between July and September compared to previous trimestre, according to the European Union’s Statistical Office, Eurostat.
In the European Union as a whole, the figures were slightly higher with a GDP rate of 0.3 percent, one tenth more than that recorded between May and July.
In terms of a year-on-year comparison, the figures show growth of 1.1 percent in the euro area, one tenth less than in the previous quarter, and 1.4 percent in the EU as a whole, the same as that recorded in the last quarter.
Economists polled by Reuters expected growth of only 0.1 percent. However the GDP data for Germany, the largest economy in the eurozone, will not be published until November 14, so the Eurostat estimate for the entire eurozone could be revised downwards if market expectations of a negative growth in the third quarter in Germany are confirmed.
Unemployment rates in the euro area and in the EU as a whole stayed stable in September compared to the previous month, remaining at their lowest levels since 2008 and 2000, respectively.
In the euro area, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September was 7.5 percent, Eurostat said on Thursday. In September 2018, it had been 8.0 percent.
The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.1 percent) and Germany (3.1 percent), while the highest was in Greece (16.9 percent in July) and Spain (14.2 percent). These two countries also lead in youth unemployment: Greece with 33.2 percent (second quarter of 2019) and Spain with 32.8 percent.
Inflation in the euro area stood at 1.2 percent in October, one tenth more than in September,
Among the eurozone countries whose data was available, the highest inflation rates in October were recorded in the Netherlands and Slovakia, with 2.8 percent each, while prices fell by 0.6 percent in Cyprus, 0, 2 percent in Greece and 0.1 percent in Portugal.