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Category Archives: European Union

Government debt continues to rise in the EU

The government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area rose from 92.3% at the end of the first quarter of 2013, to 93.4% at the end of the second quarter of 2013, according to figures released yesterday by Eurostat. When we look at the whole of the EU, the EU28, the figures rose from 85.9% to 86.8% over the … Continue reading

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Nearly 70% now work in the EU’s service sector

Almost 70% of employed persons (which includes both employees and self-employed) in the 27 EU member countries, worked within the service sector in 2011. This was a sharp increase from the 62% recorded in 2000. These figures are according to the Labour Force Survey and have been made available this month by Eurostat. There is a distinction made in the … Continue reading

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Huge diversity in GDP per capita throughout the EU

Based on first preliminary estimates for 2011 just released by Eurostat, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) varied from 45% to 274% of the EU27 average across the Member States. The highest level of GDP per capita in the EU27 was recorded in Luxembourg with a level of more than two and a half … Continue reading

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Big divergence in labour costs within the EU

The average hourly labour costs were estimated to be €23.1 in the EU27 business economy in 2011, and €27.6 in the euro area (EA17), according to statistics just published by eurostat. However, this average masks significant differences between Member States, with hourly labour costs ranging from €3.5 to €39.3. Labour costs are made up of costs for wages and salaries, … Continue reading

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And so the contagion spreads

Italy has become the latest country to have its sovereign debt rating cut. Standard and Poor’s (S&P), the debt rating agency, has reduced Italy’s rating down one level from A+ to A. The debt rating is meant to give a signal as to how reliable the country will be in repaying its debt. Italy has a debt to GDP ratio … Continue reading

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Growth in the EU is “coming to a virtual standstill”

“Growth in the second half of 2011 is now expected to be subdued, coming to a virtual standstill towards the end of the year.” So says a new Interim Forecast produced by the European Commission today. The Commission noted that GDP grew strongly in the first quarter of 2011, but slowed down substantially in the second, and pointed out the … Continue reading

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Will Greece bring the eurozone down?

There is a crisis in Europe at the moment as a result of the possibility of Greece defaulting on its debts. The euro has fallen in value and stock markets have dropped around the world during the last few days. Even the Chinese have expressed concern, because Europe is such an important market for them. Greece is a basket case, … Continue reading

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32 million foreigners living in the 27 EU States last year

The biggest driver of population growth in most EU Member States in recent years has been immigration. In fact, between 2004 and 2008, 3 to 4 million immigrants settled in the each year. This is according to the third Demography Report just published by the EU. In total, in 2010, there were 32.4 million foreigners living in an EU27 Member … Continue reading

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The Irish crisis: Is it too late to cancel Christmas?

Thank goodness the UK is not in the eurozone. Ireland is on the verge of another banking crisis due to an ill-advised lending policy, which fuelled a property boom which turned to bust during the recession. Although the Irish government initially said that it did not need any help, the EU has sent the ‘heavies’ in, with the European Central … Continue reading

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Oh no, it’s started already.

Following my blog yesterday on the dangers of austerity packages, Ireland’s actions are coming home to roost. Ireland had been praised in some quarters for its savage austerity measures which have led to rising unemployment. But it has just been announced that the Irish Republic saw shrinkage of its economy by 1.2% in the second quarter. The fact that government’s … Continue reading

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