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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More energy coming from renewable sources within the EU

In 2010, energy from renewable sources was estimated1 to have contributed 12.4% of gross final energy consumption in the EU27, compared with 11.7% in 2009 and 10.5% in 2008. This is according to figures released by Eurostat today. The 2009 Directive on renewable energy set individual targets for all Member States, such that the EU will reach a 20% share … 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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CPI was 3.7% in April – alcohol, women’s clothing and volcanic ash to blame.

CPI annual inflation which is targeted by the government at 2.0%, rose to 3.7% in April from 3.4% in March according to figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics. The largest pressures on prices came from clothing and footwear which rose by 2.2% and was particularly fuelled by increases in the price of women’s clothing; widespread increases … Continue reading

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Why has the UK trade deficit increased?

Is this more bad news? Let’s look at yesterday’s stark figures from the ONS. The UK’s trade deficit in goods and services widened from £2.2bn in February to £3.7bn in March. Although the trade in services remained in surplus to the tune of £3.8bn in March, this was down from the £4.1bn recorded in February. When it comes to the … Continue reading

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We shall defend the euro whatever it takes

These are the words of Ollie Rehn, the EU Economic Affairs Commissioner over the weekend after EU finance ministers were involved in eleven hours of talks. The result of the emergency meeting which was brought together to deal with the fiasco in Greece, will have far-reaching implications throughout the eurozone. The agreement means that the 16 countries in the euro … Continue reading

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Avoiding a forest fire in the EU

“It is absolutely essential to contain the bushfire in Greece so that it will not become a forest fire and a threat to financial stability for the European Union and its economy as a whole.” So said Ollie Rehn, the EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner at a news conference in Brussels. From forest fire to deadly disease: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, … Continue reading

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Concern at expected fall in overseas aid this year

 Aid to developing countries in 2010 will reach record levels in dollar terms after increasing by 35 per cent since 2004. But it will still be less than the world’s major aid donors promised five years ago at the Gleneagles and Millennium and five additional summits. Though a majority of countries will meet their commitments, the underperformance of several large … Continue reading

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