EXPRESS CHECKOUT

EU up ahead

Posted in Business + Economy by expresscheckout on 1 September, 2006

EU flag

EU growth outstrips US and Japan 
BBC NEWS
September 1, 2006
 
Europe’s economy is growing faster than the US or Japan, according to the latest figures for the second quarter of this year.

Growth across the 25 members of the European Union was 0.9% in the quarter, up from 0.8% in the first quarter and representing 2.8% over the year. Comparable growth figures for the US and Japan were 0.7% and 0.2%. The economies of the 12-nation euro currency group also grew at 0.9% over this period.

Jobs failure

Europe is lagging behind its economic rivals when it comes to creating new jobs, however. During the second quarter unemployment across the EU was unchanged at 8%, some distance behind the US with 4.8% unemployment or Japan at 4.1%. Poland has the highest jobless rate in the EU, with a 15% jobless toll. Slovakia is second in the unemployment league, with 14% out of work.

Economists expect the rate of growth to cool towards the autumn, with the European Central Bank signalling the likelihood of further interest rate rises in order to curb inflation.

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