EU Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2008
CBJ — Europe’s economic recovery is rolling ahead, driving down unemployment to the lowest in nearly a decade. But lagging inflation means the European Central Bank will be in no hurry to end its stimulus efforts.
Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, reports that unemployment in the 19 countries that use the euro fell to 8.5% in February from 8.6% in January, signalling the lowest rate since December, 2008, soon after the bankruptcy of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, which was the catalyst that led to a domino effect leading most of the world’s economies into a global financial meltdown. At its worst point EU unemployment for the 19 member countries came in at just over 12% in 2013.
The economy is now on solid ground and growing by a rate of 2.5%.
However, official figures also show inflation slow to catch up through higher wages for workers. Consumer prices rose 1.4% in the year to March, up from 1.1% the month before, but below the European Central Bank’s goal of just under 2%.