Just when there was some sunny news coming out of Europe of very modest growth, Eurostat released unemployment and inflation figures for the Eurozone where unemployment has slightly increased from 12% to 12.2% and inflation rates have fallen from 1.1% to 0.7%, both indicators of a weak economy. By comparison, the US unemployment rate fell from 7.3% to 7.2% in September.
Not surprising, Spain and Greece are faring the worst with 26.6% and 27.6% respectively. Spain and Greece have moved to cut wages and lower costs for its exports making the countries more competitive for buyers of their goods and services. However, lower wages will not allow for greater purchasing power of consumers; not a positive outlook for US exports.
The bright spot came from Germany where the unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 5.2% and remained stable in Austria at 4.9%.
So if you’re looking at exports to the EU, Germany is still a safe bet.
Not all news is dark though. Norway provides some more literal sunny and bright news.