"If you're going to panic, do it fast and beat the crowd." ~ Jesse Livermore

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Think the Eurozone Crisis Is Over?

Better think again--jobless rate in the 17-nation bloc rose to 11.8 percent in November, a month in which German exports, imports and industrial orders all declined.

The euro zone jobless rate rose to 11.8 percent in November from 11.7 percent in October, according to Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union. Eurostat estimated that 18.8 million people in the euro zone were unemployed in November, two million more than a year earlier. Germany has provided momentum to the European economy over the past three years, as strong exports protected the country from the crisis. But on Tuesday, the Federal Statistics Office in Berlin said that German exports declined 3.4 percent while imports slid 3.7 percent in November from a month earlier. The weakness narrowed Germany’s trade surplus to €14.6 billion, or $19 billion. German factory orders also fell in November amid weak demand from outside the euro area, the Economy Ministry said Tuesday. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, slid 1.8 percent from October, when they jumped 3.8 percent. “The November numbers are not a one-off but an extension of the current trend of weakening exports,” Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING, wrote in a research note Tuesday. He pointed out that German exports had fallen about 4 percent since May. “Today’s data confirmed our view that exports should have turned from driver of growth into drag on growth,” he wrote. A separate report from Eurostat showed that retail sales fell 2.6 percent in November from a year earlier, though they gained 0.1 percent from October.  (source: New York Times January 8, 2013)

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