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Economy: Eurostat, unemployment rate at 7.9% in the euro-zone. Record-breaking numbers in Greece, Spain and Italy

(Brussels) Comparatively encouraging news come from European economy, but with deep differences between countries. Eurostat reports that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2018 has increased by 0.2% in the euro-zone and by 0.3% in the EU-28, compared with the previous quarter. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the seasonally-adjusted GDP has increased by 1.2% in the euro-zone (19 countries using the single currency) and by 1.5% in the EU-28. “According to an initial estimate of the yearly growth rate for 2018, the GDP seems to have grown by 1.8% in the euro-zone and by 1.9% in the EU-28”. The deepest differences are found in the employment market. In the euro-zone, in December 2018, the unemployment rate had set at 7.9%, steady since November 2018, and down from 8.6% in December 2017. This is the lowest rate ever recorded in the euro-zone since October 2008. In the EU-28, in December 2018, the unemployment rate had set at 6.6%. According to Eurostat, 16.3 million people were unemployed in the EU-28, in December 2018. In the other member states, in December 2018, the lowest unemployment rates had been recorded in the Czech Republic (2.1%), in Germany (3.3%), in Poland (3.5%) and in the Netherlands (3.6%). The highest unemployment rates have been found in Greece (18.6%), in Spain (14.3%) and in Italy (10.3%). Also in December 2018, in the EU-28, 3.3 million young people under 25 were unemployed; the highest rates were recorded in Greece (38.5%), in Spain (32.7%) and in Italy (31.9%).

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