Stagflation: Eurozone Unemployment Hits Record High As Inflation Rises Above Expectations
Spot the divergence in the chart below, which compares the unemployment rate in the Eurozone and in the US.
In July European unemployment rose to 11.3% - a record post-Euro rate, and the highest since 1990 for the constituent countries. While this was in line with estimates, what surprised the market, and has sent the EUR paradoxically higher (paradoxically, because all a continent in stagflation, which Europe by now most certainly is, is to have its currency rise just when it needs to export more goods, in the process entrenching its economic plight even further) is that inflation in August picked up from 2.4% to 2.6%, beating expectations of a 2.5% increase, allowing the European misery index to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world.
Euro-area unemployment rose to a record and inflation quickened more than economists forecast as rising energy costs threaten to deepen the economic slump.
The jobless rate in the economy of the 17 nations using the euro was 11.3 percent in July, the same as in June after that month’s figure was revised higher, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest since the data series started in 1995. Inflation accelerated to 2.6 percent in August from 2.4 percent in the prior month, an initial estimate showed in a separate report. That’s faster than the 2.5 percent median forecast of 31 economists in a Bloomberg survey.
A 12.4 percent surge in crude-oil prices over the past two months is leaving consumers and companies with less money to spend just as governments seek ways to contain the debt crisis. European economic confidence dropped more than economists forecast to a three-year low in August and German unemployment increased for a fifth month, adding to signs the euro-area economy continued to shrink in the third quarter.
“The whole euro zone is undergoing negative growth developments,” Don Smith, a London-based economist at ICAP Plc, told Ken Prewitt on Bloomberg Radio yesterday. “The sense is that increasingly the euro-zone crisis is bearing down on countries in northern Europe and Germany in particular and this is really forcing officials’ hands toward coming up with a firm solution.”
And while the economy continues imploding, the ECB, like a true headless chicken, is scrambling to release one after another more and more meaningless rumor, which does nothing to restore credibility to the Goldman-headed money printing institution (which can't even do that without a German green light), and instead of attempting to halt the rise of inflation, or do anything about unemployment which month after month rises ever higher, is instead desperate to continue herding cats, and do everything to delay the inevitable exit of Greece, and soon thereafter many others, from the world's most artificial construct.